Work will begin shortly on the construction of a new council headquarters in Peterhead.
The headquarters, with a working name of Buchan House, will transform a derelict and brownfield site in the centre of Peterhead at St Peter Street.
Aberdeenshire Council has awarded the £5 million contract to Robertson Construction Ltd following a competitive tender exercise.
The new headquarters is part of the Council’s workSPACE programme, rationalising office space and creating new purpose built modern facilities fit for the 21st century, locating all council services into a single site.
The offices will create a single point of contact for all customer activity in Peterhead, ensuring customer enquiries are dealt with at first point of contact.
The new offices will provide accommodation for up to 200 staff, a committee room which can also be used as a large marriage room, the area manager’s office, registrar, small meeting rooms and interview rooms, toilets, staff showers and toilets and public and staff parking including bicycle storage lockers.
The new offices will use the latest technology for heating and power, to ensure the building meets the highest standards in energy efficiency. The office will incorporate a biomass heating plant and photovoltaic roof panels, significantly reducing the running costs of the building in comparison to the existing buildings.
Once completed, the council will release nine buildings currently occupied by council services in and around Peterhead. These will be marketed over the next few months.
The new offices are expected to realise savings to the council of around £378,000 a year on running costs of both owned and leased properties.
Additional income will be generated by the disposal of the existing buildings.
Council leader Jim Gifford welcomed the news that construction would begin in early April, saying: “This development is an important milestone in the council’s wider regeneration strategy for Peterhead.
“Building a modern and fit-for-purpose council HQ in the centre of the town will provide better service for customers, release buildings which can be used for affordable housing or businesses, and deliver savings to the council which can then be invested in frontline services.
“Peterhead is leading the way in demonstrating how the council can achieve real savings, by investing in modern, purpose-built facilities that meet the needs of our communities now and in the future.”
Over the past three years, the land at St Peter Street has been used as temporary car parking. This car parking will be closed from March 31 to enable the works on site to commence.