Peterborough register office bought by city council for undisclosed sum

Peterborough Register Office has been bought by the city council for an undisclosed amount.

Saturday, 23rd December 2017, 12:00 pm
Peterborough Register Office

The council, which has been leasing the building in Thorpe Road, has now purchased the site’s freehold.

The register office is used to record births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships.

It is also used as a nationality checking service for people applying for British citizenship and for celebratory services such as the renewal of marriage vows and citizenship ceremonies.

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A Peterborough City Council spokeswoman said: “The opportunity arose to purchase the register office building which we were leasing on a 25 year contract and paying annual rent on.

“We completed the purchase of the freehold of the building on Monday.

“Purchasing this building, which we use as the base for our births, deaths and marriages registration services, allows us to secure its use long-term and makes good financial sense as the interest paid on the money we will borrow to purchase the building is significantly less than the rent we currently pay.

“In addition, the building has been fully fitted out to suit the registration service with marriage rooms, storage locations and many private meeting rooms.

“Not securing the future of the building would inevitably mean that we would have to relocate our registration service at some point in the future which could prove costly and would be highly unlikely to generate savings.”

The council decided to invoke ‘Urgency’ and ‘Special Urgency’ when it pushed through the deal to buy the register office from The Lawns (Peterborough) Ltd.

This allowed it to suspend the requirement to publish its decision to purchase the property in advance and to suspend the three day period for councillors to call-in the decision.

Urgency and Special Urgency were invoked so it would have exclusivity to acquire the property ‘off market’.