Derbyshire County Council seeks buyer for Matlock office

Derbyshire County Council head office
Image caption Derbyshire County Council's headquarters in Matlock was a Victorian spa

A county council has confirmed it is actively seeking a buyer of its Grade II listed head office as it battles budget cuts.

Derbyshire County Council is housed in a former Victorian spa in Matlock.

It recently announced the latest raft in cuts as part of a long term reduction of £157m which includes the axing of lollipop patrols.

The council warned it had to find a buyer before it could move out to avoid damaging the town's economy.

Anne Western, Labour leader of the council, said: "We would not want to leave this building as a white elephant in the middle of this town.

"This town and the economy of the town and surrounding area relies to a large extent on the council being here.

"We wouldn't want to blight this area by moving without a plan for the sustainable use of the building in the future."

The news the council could move out of the building, which costs £2m a year to maintain, raised concerns in the business community in the town.

Rob Short, who helps organise a weekly market, said many businesses in the town relied on council employees for trade.

"There are a lot of different variables at the minute which is going to make people nervous about their business," he added.

On Monday the council set out its five-year budget plan to be agreed at a cabinet meeting next week.

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