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Lord Mayor officially opens City of York Council’s new HQ
The Lord Mayor, Coun Julie Gunnell, and the Sheriff of York, Coun Brian Watson, arrive at the official opening of York Council’s West Offices
In an emotional speech at the opening, the Lord Mayor of York, Coun Julie Gunnell said it would “not be a building for bureaucrats, but for the people,” before unveiling a plaque at the offices.
The building was opened following a procession from the Guildhall, along Lendal Bridge and towards the new offices, which were previously the old railway station and a hotel.
The Lord Mayor officially declared the building open and presented Coun James Alexander, the leader of City of York Council, with a visitors’ book for use at the new headquarters. Members of the public will be allowed to explore the building today.
The move to West Offices means a reduction in council office buildings from 17 to two and will make an estimated saving of £17m over the next 25 years, allowing a number of important city-centre buildings to be released for restoration.
Coun Gunnell said: “I am delighted to be helping to officially open such an iconic and impressive building and mark its official return to public amenity. West Offices is the culmination of a lot of hard work from a lot of people and this event will also look to celebrate this.
“I would urge people who have not yet been inside to take advantage of the public open day today which will give them the chance to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the building and see how it has been developed to provide an innovative and efficient working environment for the 21st century.”
The West Offices also house York CAB and Vale of York NHS, and the council would like local businesses to share the building in the future.
The procession, across the bridge, with its controversial new traffic restrictions, meant there were some temporary road closures and First Buses reported delays of about 25 minutes to their services.
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