Council to buy back offices seven years after selling them off

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A Merseyside council is attempting to buy back an office block it sold off seven years ago as part of its redevelopment plans.

Knowsley Council sold its former education offices in Huyton Hey Road to a private company in 2013 for £425,000 after moving its staff to their current location in Archway Road.

But now official documents reveal the council is in the process of buying the four-storey building back from the same company as part of plans to redevelop the area.

The deal is still to be completed and the price offered by the council has not been revealed, but it is likely to be more than the £425,000 it sold the offices for in 2013.

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That sale was part of council efforts to reduce costs in the face of cuts to local government funding.

After the refurbishment of the council’s main offices in 2010, staff from its children and family services department were able to leave Huyton Hey Road and the building became surplus to requirements.

At the time, the council estimated selling the building would save £120,000 a year in running costs.

Since 2013, the building has been owned by Mediline Group Services, formerly known as North West Community Services, a company providing social care.

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The council is yet to reveal its plans for the building, but the Huyton Village Masterplan produced in 2017 suggests it could be part of a wider development that would include the neighbouring multi-storey car park.

The masterplan suggested replacing the car park and office block with a mix of shops, offices and flats.

The council has made several attempts to buy the car park and the former InShops in Derby Road over the past two years but so far the buildings remain in the hands of private investors.

Buying the car park and the former education office building would be another major investment by the council, which has been buying up property in Huyton village since 2017.

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So far, Knowsley Council has spent more than £1.3million on property in Huyton, mainly through buying up shops in Derby Road.

the council set aside £3.4million in its latest budget as a land assembly fund to buy property in Huyton and it is in the process of updating the 2017 masterplan for the town.

Knowsley Council was approached for comment for this story.

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