Civic Centre delays cost £750,000
DELAYS in selling off the Civic Centre look set to gobble up £750,000 of the council's budget next year.
The landmark Grade II-listed building was put up for sale in October 2010 – but a bidding war is still in full swing.
The £750,000 has been set aside to help the council keep up with spiralling maintenance costs, finance chief Councillor Mark Lowry said.
A report Cabinet members will see next week warns there is a "significant backlog in maintenance obligations" across the authority.
The draft 2013/14 budget lists "uncertainties" over the future of the 1962 tower as one of the council's key risks for the year.
The £750,000 has been allocated to the council's accommodation strategy from a £1.77million chunk of cash set aside to offset several 'one-off pressures' forecast for 2013/14.
More than 20 organisations eyeing the building attended a bidders' day in the summer and several are due to meet with council chiefs again this week.
The authority wants to sell the freehold with the vision of the upper floors being turned into a high-end hotel.
Most of its 1,000-strong Civic Centre-based workforce would move out, though the council would seek to lease back 4,100 square metres of the building.
It hopes to agree a contract with a developer in June.
"We have a number of pretty attractive solutions we're currently working through," Cllr Lowry added.