Council explores options for a potential move

Cherwell District Council has begun exploring the possibility of relocating from its current headquarters, at Bodicote House, to a new and more suitable base to work.

Published: Thursday, 31st August 2023

Bodicote House 2023

The hybrid work arrangements that have emerged following COVID-19 have led the council to reconsider its workspace requirements, as Bodicote House is now too big for its needs.

A smaller, more modern and energy-efficient office space will help the council save on annual running and maintenance costs, support its sustainability pledge, and be more accessible for residents and customers.

The feasibility work is underway and will be worked into a business case requiring formal approval.

An option under consideration is Castle Quay in Banbury. This council-owned development offers space to provide a better office environment and a customer service location that is easier for residents and customers to get to.

A central location of Castle Quay would also contribute to the prosperity of the town centre by supporting local businesses and leading to more job opportunities and economic growth.

Councillor Barry Wood, Leader of Cherwell District Council, said: "We have started to explore a potential move to a new and more suitable home that meets our needs now and in the future.

“Bodicote House has served us well for many years, but it has become clear that it is now too big for us, and there may be a better place to be based that can save money and benefit our residents and communities.

“Castle Quay is an option under consideration as we own the development. There is space to create a modern, energy-efficient office and provide first-class services from a central Banbury location with good transport links and access.

“Once our feasibility work is complete, we will consider the business case that highlights the expected benefits a potential move could bring the council, our residents and Cherwell.”

Councillor Sean Woodcock, Leader of the Labour Group, said: "We have been consistent in supporting the council's attempts to regenerate Banbury town centre, including the purchase of Castle Quay which we saw as part of that. So, a potential relocation of the council’s offices into Banbury would have a significant beneficial impact on the town centre.

“It would support Castle Quay and existing businesses, encourage more new investment and help to make Banbury an even better destination for residents and visitors to enjoy.

“This is a positive step forward as we plan for the future.”

Subject to all necessary approvals, a potential move could occur late in 2024.

If a decision is taken to move out of Bodicote House, the council will have the opportunity to look at plans for the site.

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