Work set to start on £15m council office at Bodmin's Beacon Technology Park
WORK on the new £15 million local government office complex at Bodmin's Beacon Technology Park will begin next month and is set for completion by April next year.
BAM Construct, which has an office in Exeter, will create the three-storey building and is looking to boost the local economy by using local suppliers, offering apprenticeships and working with schools in the area.
Cornwall Council's Cabinet gave the project final approval in December and the project is the first BAM has won under the council framework.
Council staff based in Bodmin will move to the new complex, accommodating 675 workers, along with some currently working in St Austell and Liskeard.
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The complex will be double the size of the one originally planned and the council said it hoped BT Cornwall staff would also move there, though the firm has made no firm commitment. As a back-up plan the authority has agreed to offer the space to its other partners or to the private sector.
Conservative councillors have criticised the multi-million expenditure at a time of budget cuts. However, both BAM and Pat Rogerson, councillor for Bodmin's St Leonard ward, believed the move would save money in the long run. A BAM spokesman said: "The modern office block will allow the council to support a number of its services to work more effectively through co-location with each other.
"The new offices will be more efficient to run and manage than the range of older buildings which they replace."
Mrs Rogerson, meanwhile, believed the offices would be "an investment for the council and an investment in people".
She said: "The new offices will eventually save money and will help to regenerate the economy of Bodmin."
BAM is targeting a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) rating of five, with sustainability features to include photovoltaic cells on the roof and natural ventilation.
Project manager Dave Hawkins said: "We are very pleased to have been chosen for this scheme and look forward to getting stuck in to creating a facility for the council to be proud of.
"This is our fourth project in Cornwall since we entered the market in 2011. We have built up a trusted supply chain and are very much enjoying working in the county.
"We hope this latest scheme will help us grow our presence in Cornwall and lead to further work."
The three BAM projects in Cornwall so far have seen the completion of the Treliske innovation centre in Truro, the Truro residences project for Exeter University and the St Michael's Catholic Secondary School in Camborne.