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Conwy council’s new HQ will cost taxpayers £1.5m a year

The new headquarters for Conwy council in Colwyn bay Image copyright Derek Bellis
Image caption The new headquarters in Colwyn Bay will be paid off by taxpayers over the next 40 years

Conwy council’s new headquarters will cost taxpayers almost £1.5m a year in rent for the next 40 years, it has been revealed.

The building at Colwyn Bay, where 700 staff will be employed, cost £38.5 million to build.

But taxpayers will have to foot a £58m rent bill, which will be linked to the retail price index.

The council’s payment plan for the new building was revealed through Freedom of Information requests.

Any repair bill must be met by the tenant rather than the landlord and there is no break clause in the lease.

In a statement Conwy council said: “The new offices in Colwyn Bay are considered to be affordable and contribute to the council’s wider modernisation programme to improve facilities for the public and for the staff providing services.

“The new offices also form part of a wider regeneration programme in Colwyn Bay and we have already seen benefits in the local and wider economy.

“The council will be renting the fully fitted BREEAM Excellent offices on a 40-year lease; the terms of the lease allow the council to buy the building for £1 at the end.”

Janet Finch-Saunders, Conservative AM for Aberconwy, said she was “astounded” the council would have to meet any repair bills.

She said: “I will raise this with the Welsh Government. There needs to be far more thought for our hard-working taxpayers and pensioners.

“Whilst the new council offices will provide a more modern and comfortable workplace for some staff who find themselves working out of badly maintained or cramped offices, this must be weighed against the eye-watering ever-escalating costs.”

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