Council staff could be moved out of town

Aberdeenshire Council could soon have offices at Inverurie Town Hall
Aberdeenshire Council could soon have offices at Inverurie Town Hall

Aberdeenshire Council could move staff away from Inverurie if its new Office Space strategy is agreed.

Councillors will meet to discuss the strategy today (Thursday, April 26).

Last year the council had announced plans to move its operations at both Woodhill House in Aberdeen and Gordon House in Inverurie to a new facility at Harlaw in the town.

However a new option will go in front of councillors today including plans to release both Gordon House and the Harlaw site, and remain at Woodhill House.

The new plans also suggest major refurbishment work take place at Inverurie Town Hall that would see an extension built to provide offices.

Meanwhile the report also proposes the construction of a new office on the site of the former Ellon Academy and releasing all other council sites in the town.

It is hoped that Woodhill House in Aberdeen could become a public-sector hub following the announcement that NHS Grampian has shown an interest in sharing the space.

Commenting on the plans SNP Group Leader and Leader of the Opposition, Cllr Richard Thomson, said: “The interest by NHS Grampian in the Woodhill House site is very welcome.

“However, any agreement is likely to be some way off and even if it can be reached, still leaves an annual six-figure funding gap which the council will have to fill. For that reason, it’s premature to let this dictate our future plans.

“This plan will leave Ellon with 163 jobs instead of the 345 jobs that it would have gained from a move out of Aberdeen.

“However, the real impact is on Inverurie, which instead of seeing an increase of 300 jobs in the town, will now see 150 jobs lost. That should be unacceptable to anyone with the best interests of Aberdeenshire at heart.

“People will find it hard to understand how a proposal to decentralise and save money has ended up as a recommendation to consolidate in Aberdeen which could end up costing money.”