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Rutland County Council considers future of museum, offices, register office, Oakham Enterprise Park and The King Centre offices and plans to sell transport depot in Ashwell





A council could repurpose its expensive buildings and sell off property in a bid to save money.

A number of Rutland County Council’s buildings could be adapted or used differently, as plans are explored to minimise the running costs of the council’s estate.

Cabinet today (Tuesday, April 16) supported plans to investigate two options for the future use of the council’s main Catmose House office, as well as Rutland County Museum and the Register Office.

Rutland County Council's Catmose offices in Oakham. Photo: Alan Walters.
Rutland County Council's Catmose offices in Oakham. Photo: Alan Walters.

One of the options would be to sell Catmose House and relocate the council offices, chamber and employees to a new ‘civic administration centre’ combining the museum and neighbouring Catmose Cottage.

Option two would include substantial refurbishments and condensing the council’s main offices to the newer-build part of the current Catmose House site.

Both options would have space for about 100 desks in an open plan layout, with a range of meeting rooms, informal break-out spaces and parking, to promote hybrid working.

Councillor Paul Browne
Councillor Paul Browne

Coun Paul Browne (Lib Dem), portfolio holder for property, said: “The problem is most of our integral assets are not designed for current use and in essence are not fit for purpose.”

He explained option 1 is most feasible, although both are within ‘the realms of viability’.

“Doing nothing is clearly not an option in these circumstances,” said Coun Browne.

Catmose House, a Grade II-listed mansion, is described as having a ‘magnificent presence but is no longer viable given the maintenance costs’ and in need of refurbishment.

Rutland County Museum
Rutland County Museum

It is currently used to house administrative offices and the council chamber, with car parking.

Coun Andrew Johnson (Lib Dem), deputy leader, said: “We are trying to make sure we come out with a sensible strategy.
“There has been quite a lot of public comment about the council’s occupation of Catmose House.

“We are tackling this with enthusiasm to come up with a viable option to reduce the costs of running the council.”

Rutland County Council also wants to develop long-term plans for Oakham Enterprise Park (OEP), The King Centre offices and its transport depot at Ashwell.

A new chairman, leader and deputy leader have been appointed at Rutland County Council
A new chairman, leader and deputy leader have been appointed at Rutland County Council

The enterprise park and the King Centre provide space for a large number of local businesses and are both operating at full or near-full capacity.

However the transport depot is a small site damaged by recent flooding and, according to the council, is no longer fit for purpose.

Jules House
Jules House

Plans have been confirmed to develop the former Jules House building in Oakham into a new community asset, as part of its joint Levelling Up programme with Melton Borough Council.




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