Around 90 new homes will be created in Dudley as part of council plans to renovate office accommodation in the town centre.
The sale of a dozen buildings, currently used as council offices, will free up millions of pounds of tax-payers’ money and help boost town centre regeneration.
The sale of the buildings, many of which are late Victorian and early Edwardian period properties, will secure the council around £3.5 million in addition to revenue savings of around £467,000 every year once all sites are sold.
The properties, originally constructed as houses for professionals and business people, are located in the Dudley town centre conservation area and will be part of the town’s residential quarter.
The £467,000 that the sale of buildings will save in running costs year on year represents 20 per cent of the council's current annual property running costs of £2.3 million.
Councillor David Sparks, leader of the council, said:
“A key element of the continued regeneration of Dudley town centre is to get more people living in the town. The more efficient use of council office accommodation will result in savings for the tax payer and enable these new homes to be created in the town. This will all support our continued efforts to bring more people into the town centre.”
The 12 sites earmarked for sale represent more than a third of council office accommodation in Dudley town centre.
The buildings to be sold and converted into homes include 2, 4-5, 6-7 and 8 Ednam Road and 6, 15-17 and 23-25 St James’s Road and Priory Court.
Council bosses are currently in the process of relocating staff to other existing offices in the town to make more effective use of their office space. The three-year programme to relocate staff is set to be completed in the summer of 2014 when the work to renovate the Victorian and Edwardian properties will be undertaken.
The buildings that staff will continue to use as office space are the main council house building, the large office building at 4 Ednam Road along with 3 to 5 and 7 St James’s Road as well as 8 Parsons Street.
The project is possible after the council formed a strategic partnership, PSP Dudley Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) with a private sector company Public Sector Plc (PSP). The LLP is half council owned and half owned by PSP and offers the local authority a way to turn opportunities into reality by facilitating access to resources, including finance and expertise.