Shire Hall Refurbishment
Work to convert Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) offices into some of the most energy efficient in the country continues to make significant progress ahead of a completion date towards the end of 2018. Shire Hall in Gloucester is currently being redeveloped as part of a wider regeneration scheme being carried out in the city.
The essential work to Shire Hall that is being carried out will modernise the office space and make it a contemporary and suitable working environment. The entire building is currently being given a new layer of cladding that is both stylish in its appearance and environmentally friendly.
The introduction of energy efficient windows, natural ventilation and improved temperature controls are just some of the aspects involved in the work. Solar panels are also being added to the roof with the hope that they will provide enough power to run electricity in the building. Accessibility to and from the building will also be improved.
Creating a new stylish and modern look, the newly refurbished Shire Hall will reduce the council’s energy bills and carbon footprint. The internal layout of the space will also be altered to create a tidy and more efficient working environment. The building is currently divided into a number of individual offices but the new design will follow a more open plan layout. An open plan arrangement allows for effective use of space and helps improve communication.
In January work on the project moved to the Shire Hall bridge block. While this phase of the work is carried out, Bearland Road will be closed and will remain so until late 2018. Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “I’m happy to say that the refurbishment work of Shire Hall is currently on time and on budget.
“The regeneration of Shire Hall will be a major step in the wider regeneration of the Blackfriars area, bringing benefit to the city centre economy and the county as a whole.
“This makes the green credentials of the building even more important and the council will be proud to inhabit one of the county’s most energy efficient buildings.”
Rob Barnes, head of delivery services at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “This is a golden opportunity to transform the county council offices into a better working environment and workplace for its staff and visitors.
“We have been working hard alongside our partners and teams within GCC to deliver this scheme. As part of the project, we are closing external properties and centralising staff into the main Shire Hall offices to improve efficiency in the workforce.
“I’m very pleased with the progress and quality of work to date and I look forward to delivering the scheme on time and on budget.”
In April 2015 GCC secured £4.13m funding from central government and the GFirst LEP Gloucestershire Growth Deal to prepare the area for redevelopment. Since then a significant amount of work has been carried out to prepare the area for developers. In March 2017 a Local Development Order (LDO) was approved by Gloucester City Council planning committee, which means the planning process for developments at the Quayside and Blackfriars site is simplified. A number of proposals have been made to transform the area and they include housing, shops and student accommodation.