Subject to full Council approval, £370K savings proposals have been agreed by Redesign Board, as part of the Asset Management overall project to redesign and reduce the Council’s office footprint.
The savings would be achieved by moving staff into more suitable office space and ceasing payment to the Inverness Common Good Fund for use of the Inverness Town House as offices, together with savings on utilities and maintenance costs for the site.
These savings would contribute to an overall target £1M revenue savings as part of the Council’s Asset Management plan.
The aim is to make operational cost savings, whilst reducing the Council’s carbon footprint and transition to a carbon neutral organisation by 2040.
The Redesign Board’s recommendation will go to the full Council meeting on Thursday 8 December 2022 for approval.
Redesign Board Chair, Cllr Bill Lobban said:
“The Redesign Board has been discussing these proposals for a considerable time and the imperative is now to get on and deliver the savings by reducing our office footprint across numerous Council buildings.
“The Town House savings proposed today will help to reduce our overhead costs, reduce our energy consumption and contribute to climate change targets, while allowing this iconic civic building to be better utilised.”
Housing and Property Committee Chair and Provost of Inverness, Cllr Glynis Sinclair said:
“Inverness Town House is no longer fit for modern office accommodation.
“Recent investment has helped to secure the heritage of the Town House for the future and the beautifully restored building is now an ideal venue for cultural activities and events.
“This will provide opportunities for income for the Common Good as well as increasing access to the public.”
The Council has introduced the hybrid working model since the pandemic.
Inverness Town House currently accommodates approximately 100 members of Council staff who will be relocated to more suitable office space at Inverness Headquarters.
The Inverness Town House is an important venue for civic functions and hosts up to 300 events each year (ranging from public meetings, to dinners, weddings and roadshow events).
These civic events currently generate a profit for the Inverness Common Good Fund.
Tours of the Town House have already been running successfully since 2018.
Members will also consider whether to recommend a feasibility study to be commissioned for the longer-term use of the Inverness Town House to ensure the site is sustained beyond any transition to being a carbon neutral organisation by 2040.
The proposal does not mean any change to the current Service Point which will continue to operate from the Inverness Town House.