New Middlesbrough Centre Square offices really needed?
"This is a Damming photo of premier empty offices overlooking the beautiful nature lake Middlesbrough Council plans to bulldoze so they can build yet more offices and a car park! You couldn't make it up. We were asked by the public to look into this", said Rob Tucker, Co-ordinator for Middlesbrough & Redcar Friends of the Earth. "While we all want the Boro to prosper the council should scale back or cancel these plans in Centre Square and listen to people. There is clearly good office space available here and in Middlehaven, as well as empty plots more suitable for development ".
Fountain Court, the huge office that was missing from Mbro Councils report on Empty office space and the Evening Gazettes article, is overlooking the very Nature pond they want to turn into more offices and a car park! Notice the TO LET sign on the left of the building in the photo clearly visible from the Civic centre and town hall. Fountain Court is a 3 storey modern building built in 1990. The ground floor is empty and the TO LET sign indicates that the other two floors may be available if required. Far from housing staff with high incomes that the report said would be attracted to Middlesbrough by posh offices, stories 2 & 3 houses a call centre with most folk on £7.50ph. The KPMG economic report that suggested blue chip companies would come to Middlesbrough but had been put off by a lack of premier office space, is still held as confidential by the council and is off limits to the general public. How substantial is the evidence for this? Before the premier office scheme, the council had other ideas of building a 5 star hotel on the land as well as extend Mima.
Melrose House, (below photo) is another mainly empty office building, located just yards behind Fountain Court and the nature pond.
A consultation exhibition canvassing opinion on the proposed scheme is being held at the Central library, for two weeks starting Friday 24th Feb. You can object to the development (or support it, here)