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Chester solicitors reported to be moving into council HQ

Property consultancy hired to market 55,000 sq ft as council staff move out

 

Leading North West commercial property consultancy Legat Owen has been instructed by to market 55,000 square feet of space within the council side of HQ

Another company is moving into Cheshire West and Chester Council ’s HQ building according to an email sent to staff.

Mark Wynn, director of corporate services, told the workforce that Knights solicitors in nearby Cuppin Street would be relocating at the end of the summer.

He wrote: “Knights solicitors are the latest company to take space in HQ and will move to the third floor, racecourse side, in the early autumn.”

Knights’ marketing director Yvonne Sidwell was less definitive. She told The Chronicle: “We have not yet made our final decision or signed on any premises but hope to do so imminently.”

Knights solicitors in Cuppin Street, Chester, are reported to be moving into the HQ building this autumn

Knights had previously shown interest in One City Place at the new Chester Business Quarter as its existing premises were ‘nearing capacity’.

Chester Race Company moved into HQ earlier this year, taking over 700 square metres of space on the fourth floor overlooking the racecourse.

Cash-strapped CWaC is renting out office space in a bid to save £2.4m over the next four years.

There will be a phased relocation of staff from HQ to other corporate buildings across the borough.

The council will maintain a smaller presence in Chester at Nicholas House and Goldsmith House but it seems unlikely the headquarters function will remain in the city.

And there are questions around whether the Chester public will be able to take part in the democratic process within the city itself as many key committee meetings take place in HQ.

A recent meeting of Cheshire West and Chester Council's cabinet held at HQ

In contrast, CWaC’s administrative bases in Civic Way, Ellesmere Port , and Wyvern House, Winsford , have a more certain future.

In his email, Mr Wynn added: “Over the coming weeks, minor refurbishment of Civic Way and Wyvern House will start and a timetable of moves will be confirmed following completion of this work.”

He added: “As a short-term solution, committee meetings will continue to take place on the ground floor of HQ until a longer term solution can be found.”

Meanwhile, leading North West commercial property consultancy, Legat Owen has been instructed by to market 55,000 square feet of space within the council side of HQ. The building also includes luxury apartments and the Abode hotel.

One City Place next to Chester Railway Station

Legat Owen director Will Sadler said: “Chester HQ is an exceptional scheme and the council’s decision is timely in light of the high demand we are currently experiencing in the city centre for quality Grade A office space.

“With City Place performing well in the area and sizeable requirements hovering, we anticipate strong interest in the eye-catching property, with enquiries already coming in.”

Rental space is being quoted at £19.50 per sq ft.

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