County council spends £400k on safety improvements at civic centre

14:42 10 March 2014

Devon County Council is spending £200,000 replacing fire doors at the civic centre in Barnstaple.

Devon County Council is spending £200,000 replacing fire doors at the civic centre in Barnstaple.

Archant

Upgrades ‘essential’ despite uncertainty over future of Barnstaple building.

DEVON County Council is spending nearly £400,000 on safety upgrades at the civic centre in Barnstaple – despite uncertainty over the future of the building.

Half the building could be empty by the end of the year but the council said it was carrying out the overhaul to comply with fire safety legislation.

Around 200 fire doors are being replaced as part of a planned maintenance contract awarded in November last year.

The work also includes building fire protection; links to the fire alarm system; protection in non-accessible areas; and re-configuration of the internal structure to meet current fire safety regulations.

The anticipated costs, which are yet to be finalised, are expected to be around £380,000

The county council is currently making £28million worth of cuts – including to day centres, residential homes and the youth service – because of a government funding squeeze.

A spokesman said fire safety audits had flagged up the ‘essential’ programme of work, expected to be completed shortly.

“The safety of staff and visitors in all of our buildings, including the civic centre in Barnstaple, is of paramount importance,” said the spokesperson.

“This work is essential regardless of whether the building is fully occupied or whether it will be vacated at some point in the future.”

Earlier this month, the Gazette reported that North Devon Council, which occupies just under half the building, had signalled its intention to find alternative premises.

Last week, architects revealed speculative plans to transform the building into riverside residential apartments, although the county council said no decisions had been made about the future of the building.

The county council has around 185 staff based at the civic centre. In addition to the district council, the main occupiers are HM Courts Service, the BBC, and the police, who occupy a separate building next door.

The county council spokesman added: “It’s very early days. We understand that North Devon Council would like to vacate the building. We’re discussing that with them with a view to ensuring the interests of both organisations are achieved.

“As part of our estates strategy more broadly, we are continually reviewing all our properties including the civic centre and other properties in Barnstaple.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

Friday, December 19, 2014
The Pride in Ilfracombe winners with their awards and Mayor, George Squires. Picture: Sam Scott

Unsung heroes and heroines of all ages step forward at the Pride in Ilfracombe Awards.

Read more
Friday, December 19, 2014
Barnstaple will see in 2015 with a fireworks display, it has been confirmed.

Firms stump up the cash to help town see in 2015 in style.

Read more
Friday, December 19, 2014
The pups in their new home

Wildlife and Dinosaur Park team up with RSPCA to help seal pups

Read more
Friday, December 19, 2014
Kevin Carlyle’s festive lights display in Springfield Road, Bickington. Picture: Submitted

Festive display pulls in the crowds – and donations for air ambulance.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Family notices
Subscriptions
Reader travel
Advertise
Photo Orders
Competitions
Facebook
Twitter
North Devon Football League
North Devon Gazette E-edition

Digital Edition

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition today E-edition
North Devon�s trusted business finder