September 28th, 2016

Ex-council chief blasts sale delays

Ex-council chief blasts sale delays Ex-council chief blasts sale delays
Updated: 9:52 am, May 07, 2015

DELAYS selling a town centre building have been criticised by the former leader of the council.

Coun Carole Gandy hit out at the length of time it had taken to sell Threadneedle House, which formerly housed Barclays and the HMRC offices.

Redditch Borough Council still owns the building, which the Post Office still occupies part of, having made the decision to declare it surplus to requirements in January.

Speaking at a recent full council meeting Coun Gandy said: “How actively are we marketing Threadneedle House? It has now been on the market for some considerable time.

“This council has on a number of occasions commented on empty buildings in the town and the effect this has on the town centre and people coming into the town centre. Some buildings we have got absolutely no control over but this building we have.

“How proactive are we being in progressing it to see someone in there who’s going to turn it around and make it a little gem rather than the eyesore it is at the moment?”

The decision to sell the building, which has been empty for four years, attracted criticism after it was revealed in documents seen by the Standard the council accepted £1.2million from Barclays to break its lease despite them being able to attract £1.9million in rent as the lease still had 19 years to run.

Officers said it was costing £72,000 a year including business rates, utilities, security and maintenance to look after the building while the extensive refurbishment needed to bring it up to modern office standards would cost over £850,000.

A council spokeswoman said: “The deadline for bids on Threadneedle House has now passed and officers are now carrying out the necessary checks to evaluate those bids.”

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