Relocation for less than £4 million my a**e!

EDDC has said that relocating its HQ from Knowle to Skypark will involve a total cost of less than £4 million. Remember that any income from the sake of Knowle and Manstone Depot should not be offset against the total cost as the income from that asset sale should benefit the whole of the EDDC community, not just a few councillors and officers who will site themselves nearer to Exeter than any other town in East Devon except Cranbrook..

Here are some recent costs for new council HQ some of which sold off their old HQ:

£11 million:

£7 million:

£10.5 million

£9 million:

£9.7 million:

One thought on “Relocation for less than £4 million my a**e!

  1. I am not sure that they are planning on buying the new HQ, but instead to lease it from a developer. Assuming that this is the case, then from a cash-flow business case perspective we should expect at a minimum:

    1. The net capital receipts from selling the Knowle and the site on Heathpark, Honiton PLUS the moneys which would HAVE to be expended to renovate the Knowle if they stayed to be sufficient to pay all one-off costs associated with the move (including one-off staff compensation costs); AND

    2. The annual total revenue costs at SkyPark (for rent, heating, lighting, security, maintenance, ongoing staff-compensation etc.) to be no more than the current costs at the Knowle + Heathpark less any income currently derived from the Knowle and Heathpark.

    Even then we will have frittered away a capital asset.

    So ideally the business case should be calculated on a P&L basis and we should be able to see the one-off costs in 1. being amortized from the surplus in 2. over (say) a period of 10 years, with the capital receipts banked to pay for capital purchases at a later date.

    In the event that these are not met – and especially if the revenue costs at SkyPark exceed those at the Knowle – then there is no business case and EDDC should not move.

    Personally I find it difficult to see how the revenue costs at the Knowle (where there is no rent to pay but a higher maintenance bill) could possibly be higher than the lease costs of a new building at SkyPark where the developer will be looking to recoup their building costs over (say) a 10 year period.

    But of course, with the business case being kept “secret” …. ooops I mean “confidential” by EDDC, it is anyone’s guess whether the business case stands up or not. I would imagine that it would be possible to get a reasonable estimate of SkyPark costs from equivalent open-market office leases elsewhere, and the costs of staying at the Knowle and the rents received from Heathpark are either known already or can be obtained through FoI requests.


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