It was an 'embarrassment' – but now it's an award winner
THE leader of Derby City Council said the authority was delighted after its newly refurbished Council House won an award for design and restoration.
News of the gong from Derby Civic Society came as the final members of the authority's staff moved into the building following the refurbishment.
When the building closed in December 2010, 500 staff moved out.
But 1,844 staff are being moved in so the council can save money through not having to rent other offices around the city.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The Council House refurbishment cost £34 million and was completed in December.
David Ling, chairman of Derby Civic Society, said the building work – designed by architects Costophine and Wright and project-managed by Mace – won in both the restoration and new-build categories as it was difficult to put the project in one group or the other.
He said it was "probably the most important building to be constructed in Derby in a generation".
Council leader Councillor Paul Bayliss said the authority was delighted the building had won the civic society's George Larkin Brighter City of Derby prize.
Mr Bayliss's Labour group had previously argued against spending so much money on the project at a time of austerity.
In December, his deputy, Ranjit Banwait, branded the headquarters refurbishment "embarrassing".
But Mr Bayliss had recently admitted a change of heart over the refurbishment, saying the building had the "wow factor".
He said yesterday: "We are delighted that Derby's refurbished Council House has been so well received and are extremely proud to have been awarded this year's George Larkin Brighter City of Derby prize for new-build and restoration.
"The building is exceptionally innovative, combining a sensitive restoration with a strikingly new interior. Creating this distinctive, highly sustainable building would not have been possible without the support and expertise of BAM, Mace and many local contractors who delivered such a high-quality facility.
"We have always recognised that Derby's Council House is a much-loved local landmark that the community wanted to retain."
The presentation of the award will take place in the Council House tomorrow.
A total of 1,760 council staff, including those from Derby Homes, will have moved into the Council House by the end of this week, with 84 more to come by February 23.