Council offices sold off

The former Town Hall, Orrell
The former Town Hall, Orrell

WIGAN Council has made half a million pounds after flogging off two major assets.

The authority sold its former council offices and a depot, both in Orrell Road, Orrell, through Pugh Auctions.

The former Town Hall, Orrell

The former Town Hall, Orrell

The detached two-storey former council offices, which are in need of substantial refurbishment, were purchased for £400,000, while the depot, which has residential planning permission for nine houses, brought in £131,000.

The sale is part of the council’s Modernisation Programme, aiming to make massive cuts and improve services and will contribute to the £14m savings needed by 2014/15.

The buildings have been closed for two years.

The depot staff were relocated to Makerfield Depot and office workers have been moved to a number of locations across the main council sites such as the Life Centres.

Penny McGinty, assistant director for leisure, cultural and property services at Wigan Council, said: “The sale of the former council offices in Orrell is part of our Modernisation Programme. “We’re changing the way we work and the way our services run to make things better for the customer and to offer greater value for money all round.

“Once completed, the modernisation programme should save local tax payers around £1m every year.

“The building was sold last month as part of our project.”

To whom the offices have been sold has not been disclosed so whether it will be re-used or modified for commercial use or demolished for possible further housing is not apparent.

The loss of the offices and recycling centre caused a deal of consternation in Orrell which had already seen its library, post office and a bank branch close and a bus stop disappear.

With the closure of the recycling centre and also the site at Frog Lane, Orrell residents now have to make a 15-mile round trip to the Kirkless tip at Ince.