Surrey County Council buys £15.9m Brooklands office building

Surrey County Council has secured a multimillion pound office space in Elmbridge as part of its ‘agile working scheme’ moving staff into the county.

The council has bought the Dakota building in Brooklands, Weybridge for £15.9 million.

This will be another base for staff moving away from County Hall in Kingston, in addition to the new headquarters at Woodhatch Place in Reigate.

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Tim Oliver, leader of Surrey County Council, said: “We are seeing through our commitment to move our staff back into the county of Surrey after more than 50 years in Kingston.

“The move will not only save us money and reduce our carbon footprint as an organisation, but it brings our staff closer to the residents we serve.

“I’m delighted that once we come out of Covid restrictions, staff will now be able to work flexibly across the county including from these fantastic new premises in Reigate and Weybridge.”

The Dakota building forms part of the Brooklands estate, which sits within the perimeter of the historic motor racing circuit.

The council will occupy the first and second floors of the building and let out the third floor to Robert Half International and the ground floor to Yooserv Limited.

David Kershaw, group real estate director of the seller, trading company The RO, said: “We are delighted with our sale of Dakota to Surrey County Council.

“In the last two years we have modernised many of our buildings, including Dakota.

“Dakota was always a very special project for us, being the first multi-tenanted building in Europe to achieve Fitwel certification, and we wish Surrey County Council and its employees much success and enjoyment in their new building.”

Fitwel is a commercial building rating system that encourages healthier buildings.

County council staff will also use Ashley Park House in Walton, Fairmount House in Leatherhead, Merrow in Guildford and Quadrant Court in Woking.

With overall space reduced from around 50,000 sqm to 20,000 sqm, the move is expected to save around £3m per year, from £7m to £4m, and reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.

The sale of Kingston’s County Hall was agreed by cabinet on Tuesday (January 26).

The council had been in extensive discussions with both Kingston University and Kingston Council, but could not reach an agreement and the grade II listed building is being sold to someone else, for an undisclosed figure.

Cabinet member for finance Mel Few said: “After a number of visits to the site by various interested parties, an unconditional offer acceptable to the council was received and accepted.”

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