Multi-million pound investment close to completion
The new £15.4 million centre for public services is taking shape in the centre of Newcastle.
Four storey Castle House, next to Queens Gardens, is on course to open in the autumn.
The building, which can be accessed from both the Gardens and Hassell Street, will be the base for services from Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Police and Aspire Housing.
Also present at Castle House will be Newcastle library, the town’s register office, large multi-function room and a study area for students. The whole building will be wifi-enabled for public use.
Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said: “The bringing together of council and police in one modern, central building will, while saving taxpayers’ money, make life easier for the public by providing many services all under the same roof.
“At the same time it will also support the town centre economy and provides the catalyst for more investment.”
He added: “I’m also pleased to announce that Newcastle-based Aspire Housing has seen the benefit of being in Castle House and will be moving its customer service centre there later this year.”
Sinéad Butters, Chief Executive of Aspire Housing, said: “Castle House is an innovative and exciting project which we are proud to be a part of.
“At Aspire Housing we do much more than just provide homes, we are committed to investing in our communities and creating places where people love to live.
“We work in collaboration with partners to move things forward in Newcastle, and this new hub will help us provide the best services we can for our customers and communities.”
Once Borough Council workers have moved from their current Merrial Street base, the offices will be demolished and added to the site of the former Sainsbury’s supermarket at Ryecroft, where developers are planning a £27.1 million development with retail units and student accommodation.
Cllr. Elizabeth Shenton, Leader of the Borough Council, said: “We are working hard to reshape Newcastle town centre in a way which will provide benefits to residents as well as our shops and businesses.
“Everyone who has been to Newcastle recently will have seen what an impressive structure Castle House is and having a range of partners working alongside each other under one roof should benefit the public.
“The building also retains jobs within the town centre and the money spent by those workers is vital in supporting our local traders.”
The projects are part of the joint working agreement between the county and borough authorities, known as District Deal 2.