Peterborough’s jobcentre to move into the Town Hall

The entrance to where the new jobcentre will be in Bridge Street
The entrance to where the new jobcentre will be in Bridge Street
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Peterborough’s jobcentre will relocate to the Town Hall once city council staff move out of the iconic building next year.

Renovations costing £2.4 million will soon begin at the south side of the building to prepare for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to move in.

The council, which will pay £1.7 million of the cost, is taking up residence at offices in the new £120 million Fletton Quays development from July 2018.

The affected parts of the Town Hall currently sit above two boarded up shop units which are to be turned into a visible entrance for the jobcentre, with lifts leading up to the first and second floors which will be refurbished then occupied by the DWP.

The Government department will pay £734,000 of the renovation costs.

Cllr David Seaton, cabinet member for resources at the council, said: “In March 2016 the city council announced that it would become an anchor tenant on the Fletton Quays site in order to kickstart the £120 million development.

“This commitment has proved successful and since then planning permission has been granted for more than 350 homes, Hilton has confirmed a 160-bed hotel and funding is secured for a new arts and culture hub.

“Benefits will also include additional council tax and business rates income as well as creating jobs.

“The council’s move to Fletton Quays will not come at the expense of taxpayers and costs will be outweighed through income generated, which includes leasing parts of the Town Hall to other organisations.”

The council expects to make an extra £7.6 million over the coming years from its move to Fletton Quays at the South Bank, with the north side of the Town Hall and its offices at Bayard Place in Broadway also to be leased out.

However, the civic areas of the Town Hall will remain as they are now and open to the public.

The programme of works is scheduled to start on October 23 and be completed by March 30, 2018 with the 170 members of staff at the jobcentre moving in shortly afterwards.

The contract for the works is currently £300,000 over budget, but Cllr Seaton said: “We expect that the total cost for the different phases of the Town Hall refurbishment works will be within our overall estimated budget.”

Council staff have already vacated the south side of the Town Hall, and with most of the works being internal Cllr Seaton said the public should only see minimum disruption.