Vacated offices save city council further cash

By on 28/10/2011 in News

Birmingham City Council is set to achieve revenue savings of £6.2million in the current financial year through its innovative Working for the Future (WFTF) programme.

The savings are being delivered by selling outdated office accommodation and vacating leased buildings that were occupied by “back office” council departments, reducing the number of Central Administrative Buildings (CAB) from 55 down to just eight modern, fit-for-purpose sites.

Buildings which have already been vacated in 2011/12 include Milton Grange, Pype Hayes Hall and Harris House. This year has also already seen the delivery of the council's new flagship workplace 10 Woodcock Street, which will ultimately offer accommodation for 3,000 employees, opened earlier this month.

Overall the WFTF programme, a pivotal branch of the council's Business Transformation scheme, will create savings of £100milllion over 25 years through the consolidation of the office portfolio and creating improved, sustainable and more efficient workspace.

And in addition to the revenue savings generated as part of the programme, the council is projected to receive £3.85million in capital receipts from surplus property sales this year.

Cllr Randal Brew, Cabinet Member for Finance at Birmingham City Council, said: “We take our role as the custodian of the public purse seriously, so have been determined to implement a strategy which maximises the efficiency of our property estate.

“Through Working for the Future, we have looked closely at all of our administrative buildings and created a plan which has transformed the accommodation used by our employees - giving them an environment from which they can deliver the best services possible to citizens.

“Given the financial challenge the public sector faces, this is a win-win situation for everyone in the city.”

The slimmed-down CAB estate includes: The Council House, Council House Extension, 10 Woodcock Street (Aston), Lifford House (Stirchley), Sutton New Road (Erdington), Tamebridge House (Perry Barr), 1 Lancaster Circus (City Centre), and New Aston House (Aston).

ENDS

Notes to editors

1.    Business Transformation is Birmingham City Council's ambitious nine-strand programme which aims to modernise and enhance services delivered across the whole authority to citizens. It is projected that the programme will realise benefits of around £1billion over the ten years to 2016.

2.    Service Birmingham is a strategic partnership between Birmingham City Council and Capita which will support a transformation in the way the council works; improving services and contributing to its efficiency agenda. This strategic partnership forms part of the council’s objective to find better and more innovative ways of delivering services for the benefit of employees and citizens. The principle of this joint venture focuses on the provision of cost effective, sector leading, ICT services and in supporting the council in achieving its business transformation objectives.

3.    Working for the Future, an essential part of the council's wider Business Transformation programme, will consolidate the operational office portfolio and will be a catalyst for increasing workforce agility across the council contributing to the delivery of four key outcomes: better customer service, improved workplaces and work styles, greater sustainability and lower property operating costs. The Central Administrative Buildings (CAB) element of WFTF programme is set to realise £100million of net benefits over 25 years.

For further information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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