'Dead space' at Nottingham City Council's HQ could be rented out

An empty area of Loxley House, Nottingham City Council's HQ, with empty desks and abandoned filing cabinets seen across the wide, open-plan room
An empty area of Loxley House, Nottingham City Council's HQ -Credit:Nottingham Post/Oliver Pridmore

Part of Nottingham City Council's headquarters could be rented out after part of the multi-million pound building was described as "dead space." Two floors of Loxley House have effectively been closed, with the staff that remained on the top two floors now spread out across the bottom three.

The plans were introduced as one of several savings initiatives by Nottingham City Council, with the 'mothballing' of floors three and four of Loxley House expected to generate annual savings of £200,000. The future of the wider building remains uncertain after David Mellen, the now former leader of Nottingham City Council, confirmed the potential sale of the site would be reviewed.

Councillor Andrew Rule, an independent councillor on Nottingham City Council, asked at a meeting on Monday (May 20): "Now the third and fourth floors of Loxley House have been mothballed, would the [council] confirm what the long-term plan is to ensure that this now dead space does not result in a holding cost for the council?"

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The construction of Loxley House began in the early 2000s and Capital One used it as a base until the company put it on the market in 2009. Despite the initial valuation of £60 million, Nottingham City Council ended up buying it for £22.5 million and the authority now says the building is worth £27.3 million as of 2018 figures.

About 2,000 council staff had previously been spread across seven sites before the council moved into Loxley House, although full council meetings and inquests still take place at the historic Council House. Councillor Ethan Radford, the new deputy leader of Nottingham City Council, responded to Councillor Rule by saying: "I can assure you there are no specific holding costs associated with the closure of the floors while the rest of the building remains open.

"The closure of floors three and four of Loxley House were taken forward to reduce the level of running costs associated with the building, with the aim of achieving a £200,000 annual saving. I can tell him that we are currently considering options to let out the floors to third-party occupiers. In the long-term, we'll be reviewing all of our administrative estate to ensure that the scale is in keeping with the council's needs."

Describing the state of the building earlier in the year, David Mellen said: "With greater capacity for hybrid working, it's clear that Loxley House and indeed other administrative offices are under-utilised, particularly on a Monday and Friday. If you go in the middle of the week, it's much more like it used to be, with a difficulty getting into the car park. What was once a packed and bustling building is quieter on those days in particular."