Exclusive: A glimpse at the future of district council’s headquarters

These images offer readers exclusive chance to see what East Lindsey District Council’s new combined headquarters will look like.

A glimpse into the future...

The £8.25m project, at the former college site off Mareham Road, is arguably the biggest single investment in Horncastle.

As first revealed in the News, the building will accommodate district council staff, and a new educational facility led by Boston College.

There will also be accommodation for other services including, it is understood, Lincolnshire Police and medical organisations.

The current District Council HQ at Teddar Hall near Louth

The eco-friendly building will feature the latest technology as the council rolls out a new way of working for staff.

The all-important planning application permission is on schedule to be submitted by the end of this month.

Provided the project gets the go ahead, work could start this summer - delivering a significant boost for local jobs and the local economy in general.

Plans indicate the site will feature 220 car parking places - and a major programme of landscaping.

The council has been working with specialist companies to complete vital documents as part of the planning process.

They include a traffic management programme which will hopefully satisfy locally- raised concerns about an increase in vehicles.

James Gilbert, ELDC’s Assistant Chief Executive, said: “As people can hopefully see, the building is a contemporary design split between brick and a rain screen cladding.

“The building will be air source heated/cooled with solar PV mounted on the roof.

“ The window orientation has been designed to exploit the connection with the outside space, and the grounds will be subject to landscaping to provide a good quality work environment.”

The move to Horncastle has been criticised by some - notably Louth councillors who believe their town should have been the site.

However, ELDC have previously explained one of the main reasons behind the Horncastle decision was Boston College’s desire to build a new facility and boost education in the town.

The new HQ will, of course, mean ELDC selling its current HQ at Manby - and other facilities ‘housed’ at Skegness Town Hall.

Mr Gilbert added: “The development will be cost neutral, factoring in the sale/redevelopment of Tedder Hall (Manby) and Skegness Town Hall which both have multi-million pound maintenance requirements over the coming years. “Both sites, Tedder Hall and Skegness Town Hall, provide redevelopment opportunities that would benefit both communities.

One of the key figures in the Horncastle project is Neil Cucksey, ELDC’s Assistant Director - Property, Business and Growth.

He said: “The final plans have been drawn up and the various surveys have been carried out.

“What you see in the these images is basically what the new building will look like.

“There might be one or two slight changes (for planning reasons) but we do not foresee anything major at this stage.”

Mr Cucksey went on to reveal details about the two-level building.

The college and various meeting rooms will be based on the ground floor.

The district council, meanwhile, will be based on the first floor in largely open plan offices and an area for refreshments./

Some of the ground floor facilities - including the new council chamber - will be available for hire.

Some existing buildings on the site will be retained, but others will be demolished.

Lincolnshire County Council will continue to own buildings on a neighbouring site.

Mr Cucksey stressed landscaping meant the new building would ‘hardly be seen’ from Mareham Road or, indeed, neighbouring properties.

He stressed the environmentally friendly design meant only a ‘limited amount’ of power would be needed from the National Grid.

He added: “The design means the building will be flooded with natural light - making it a fantastic place to work.

“There will also be 100sqm of cells on the roof that mainly will be used to power the heating/cooling system.

“Thanks to the use of the very latest technology, the whole building is designed with the environment in mind- now and for many years in the future.”

Mr Cucksey said Boston College had been closely involved in the design process and were delighted with the facilities on offer.

It’s understood talks are on-going with other organisations about moving into the building.

Mr Cucksey said: “It really is an exciting development - and an exciting time for Horncastle.

“I’m confident once people see the plans, they will be very impressed.”

While the Horncastle site waits for the green light from planners - a decision could be made next month - ELDC has played down suggestions Tedder Hall could be sold for new housing.

The council has confirmed the 14-acre site - a former RAF station - is Grade II listed.

While this strictly limits external alterations , internal renovations can be made to the range of buildings, including Teddar Hall .

This could allow for buildings on the site to be utilised for office space or accommodation, according to council leaders.

Meanwhile, when it comes to constructing the new HQ, the council has pledged to use as many local companies as possible - and establish strong links with businesses and organisations, including suppliers.

ELDC ‘s chief executive Rob Barlow said: “We are aware some people are asking, why Horncastle? But if you look around the district, there aren’t that many sites 
available that we could go to.

“The other point to make is that it was very much a college provider (Boston) wanting to be based in Horncastle.

“This isn’t just about the council moving. It’s about a whole new way of working. It’s also about improving education challenges, giving young people the chance to learn and giving businesses the skills to compete and develop.”

Regarding the new college, Mr Barlow added: “They (Boston College) approached us - not the other way around. What we have got at the moment is Lincoln, Boston and Grimsby all providing main educational offers -outside of our district.

“Over the last 12 months, we have been speaking to all those colleges, and in the conversations we’ve had with Boston, they’ve said: ‘We’ve got this demand here (Horncastle) that is not being met’ and we said: ‘We’re looking at a re-location project’ and they said: ‘We’ll be interested in working with you.”

East Lindsey District Council leader Coun Craig Leyland is confident the new building will be a success.

He said: “One of the main issues with Manby - apart from the running costs - is there are too many rooms, too many corridors and too many closed doors.

“Open plan working really will make a huge difference.

“We’ve visited a lot of other authorities and seen what they are already doing. We’re just catching up.”

Council chiefs say more staff will have the opportunity to work from home, and drop in to what ELDC describes as ‘touchdown’ points - small offices based around the district.

•Keep in touch with the Horncastle News - and our website and social media platforms - for more updates.