Council’s Executive to consider change of headquarters

Published13th March 2024

Our Executive is meeting to consider relocating the authority’s headquarters into the town centre, with the proposal on the agenda for Tuesday 19 March.

The Council has carried out a review into its use of the six-floor building at Grafton House in Russell Road. The review found more than half of the available space at Grafton House is now not being used. It also highlighted that a significant investment will shortly be required on a range of retrofit works to improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide a satisfactory environment with year-round comfort for those people working within the building.

The review recommends that the Council looks to source alternative office accommodation that better aligns with its space requirements, reduces building operation costs, provides the right facilities for residents, and provides the environment needed for its workforce in the medium to long term. This should be in a location that has good access to public transport, that is close to car parks, provides a suitable location for the face-to-face customer services centre, and which enables the Council’s workforce to have a positive impact on the vitality of the town centre by increased footfall, dwell time, and spend, all of which will provide a much needed boost to the town centre economy.

The review has also outlined options for an alternative use of the Grafton House site, including redevelopment as a mixed-use residential scheme which will meet a number of commitments made in the Council’s Corporate Strategy, including the commitment to get more affordable homes built or brought into use.

Councillor Neil MacDonald, Ipswich Borough Council Leader, says:

“I look forward to being able to have the Council headquarters in the town centre, as part of our work towards ensuring we are a financially sustainable council.”

 Agenda for Executive on Tuesday 19th March 2024, 5.30 pm | Democracy Online | Ipswich Borough Council

The Council relocated from the Civic Centre into Grafton House in 2006 and subsequently acquired the freehold to the six-story Russell Road building in 2015. It currently occupies the ground floor Reception area and three floors, with two further floors leased to tenants, plus space at the rear of the building for operational vehicle and cycle parking.