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Decision on new government HQ in September?

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A DECISION could be made in September on the proposed location of the new government headquarters.

Picture: ROB CURRIE. (28729983)

And the Chief Minister has indicated that the latest building for the International Finance Centre which recently received planning permission is likely to be on the shortlist.

During questions without notice yesterday, Deputy Steve Luce quizzed Senator John Le Fondré on the government’s plans for relocating from its temporary headquarters in Broad Street, where it moved after vacating Cyril Le Marquand House in 2018.

The Deputy asked whether the increased levels of remote working during the Covid-19 crisis had influenced the decision-making process around moving and what percentage of workers were expected to continue working at home post-crisis.

Senator Le Fondré said that he could not ‘give a specific number’ for how many people would remain working from home but said that those with ‘underlying health conditions’ would be likely to.

Earlier this month the development of a new seven-storey office block at the IFC on the Esplanade was approved by the Planning Committee.

The building, which will be known as IFC2, is due to be the largest building in the development, which is being built by the States-owned Jersey Development Company, and will include 95,000 sq ft of office space, as well as a basement car park with 41 spaces and food and retail units.

Deputy Luce asked whether given the reduction in numbers of staff likely to attend the office in future, the Chief Minister agreed that the new finance centre building was now the best location for a new single centralised government headquarters.

The Chief Minister did not rule out the site but said that selection of it as the new HQ was ‘not a given’.

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‘The point is that there are bids out there at the moment. I know there are certain Members who will be absolutely convinced that it is the only solution that will work,’ he said.

‘But we have gone out and we are in the middle of a process. I’m sure that that the Waterfront is one of those sites.

‘We will do the evaluation and I expect that to come back to me by 31 July.

‘Once it has been through evaluation it will go to ministers in September.

‘At that point we will be delighted to be informing Members as to where we are and what the best outcome is.’

He added that the factors of overall cost, access and the contribution to regenerating St Helier would all be considered in the site selection.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
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