As the government restarts its search for a permanent headquarters, with the help of a consultancy firm costing £100k so far, images have emerged of the HQ that could have been.
In line with Chief Executive Charlie Parker’s plans to reduce “silo” working by bringing government staff under one roof, around 500 civil servants finalised a £7million move from Cyril Le Marquand House to Broad Street last month, while La Motte Street was converted into ‘Customer and Local Services’, incorporating workers from Social Security, Planning, the Passport Office and HR staff.
However, these only remain a “temporary” solution, with the ambition still being to move to a new premises that can house all government workers within five years, when the Broad Street lease is up.
Pictured: The current 'OneGov' headquarters at Broad Street.
It emerged last year that Ann Court – a site by the Arts Centre earmarked for social housing – was among the frontrunners in considerations for a new premises.
Work has now begun again in earnest on finding a site for a new headquarters, involving work alongside Plan RB consultants.
The Government of Jersey has a one-year contract with the firm – so far at a cost £103,725 including expenses– which will see them work to develop a “strategy and brief for rationalising the estate by delivery of a new hub building to house the Government of Jersey and determine and deliver required interim staff relocations”.
Pictured: The Customer and Local Services Department at La Motte Street.
A spokesperson told Expressthat a group was also working on the plan, commenting: “The One Government Office Programme Board is working on the investment case and analysing options for delivering the project and as part of that option appraisal sites will be identified. Once the investment case is approved, the selected delivery option will guide the final site option available for selection”.
As this work gets underway, Express has obtained initial sketches of the Ann Court proposals.
While the plans were dropped – hence no more detailed sketches than those produced internally being available – they do reveal a little more of the size, scale and aesthetic the government is looking to achieve.
The sketches show plans for three blocks surrounded by trees and centred around an open green courtyard.
Pictured: An early sketch of the plans for a government HQ at Ann Court.
The largest of the buildings, which featured a curved façade with green space and trees in front of it, faces the Arts Centre, with the ‘front door’ aligned with Phillips Street.
There are also access points from the surrounding roads of Charles Street, Ann Place and Ann Street.
Meanwhile, Andium Homes, who are responsible for developing 165 units of affordable accommodation at Ann Court say that their construction work has been “progressing well” since the States Assembly voted to scrap the idea of placing a headquarters there in January.
“The new development will deliver 165 new homes comprising of 130 one-bedroom flats, and 35 two-bedroom flats. These are not for sale, on completion they will be allocated through the Affordable Housing Gateway for rental,” a spokesperson explained.
Pictured: Another sketch of the Ann Court government HQ plans, which have now been rejected.
They added that the blocks will be completed “in phases”, with the first home available in September 2021, and final homes being handed over in January 2022.
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