City of Wolverhampton Council's ambitious FutureSpace programme is on track to deliver £500,000 of savings each year to the taxpayer, Cabinet councillors will hear tonight (Tuesday 20 March).

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The programme, which began in 2015, has seen essential repairs, maintenance and improvements to the council's Civic Centre headquarters as well as a full refurbishment of its public underground car park.

Making better use of space inside the Civic Centre is enabling the council to move its staff out of 16 outmoded satellite offices which are scattered around the city.

Once these surplus buildings become empty, they are being disposed of by sale or termination of their lease meaning the taxpayer will no longer foot the bill for maintenance and utilities.

Office space the size of 2 football pitches is being relinquished as part of the FutureSpace scheme.

The work on the Civic Centre has been done in phases to ensure the building has remained open. The third and final phase is due to be completed next month.

The project has remained on schedule due to tight project management, despite unforeseen issues such as the discovery of previously unknown asbestos and a flood inside the building.

Councillor Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for resources, said: "Our FutureSpace programme is coming to an end and I'm delighted to say that it is on track to deliver all the benefits we said it would.

"We will save taxpayers £500,000 by disposing of satellite office space the size of two football pitches that we no longer need.

"As well as this, we have a much improved Civic Centre and the hundreds of people who visit each day will have used our brand new reception and customer service centre, a new café offering the public a wider choice of delicious refreshments and an award-winning public car park beneath the building."

The council appointed Midlands based Speller Metcalfe as its main contractor on the programme and built certain conditions into the contract including taking on local apprentices, trainees and graduates.

More than 60% of employees working on the project came from within a 15 mile radius of the City of Wolverhampton as did 40% of suppliers and other contractors.

The council's cabinet resources panel will receive an update report on the FutureSpace programme when it meets tonight (Tuesday 20 March).

  • released: Tuesday 20 March, 2018