New Shire Hall, Cambridgeshire County Council’s new civic hub, has officially opened.

The building, operational since the summer of 2021, was officially opened by Cambridgeshire County Council Chair Cllr Stephen Ferguson, ably supported by pupils from Alconbury CofE Primary School, on July 8.

New Shire Hall at Alconbury Weald has been purpose-built to be the county council’s civic hub and the centre of local decision-making – whilst at the same time meeting high environmental standards.

In total 729 staff from more than 70 different teams have New Shire Hall as their official office base.

Staff spend time in the office each week and they also work from any one of the many other offices across the county or elsewhere, with technology ensuring they can work close to the communities they serve.

New Shire Hall has been purpose-built with environmental credentials at its heart; the car park has 11 electric car charging points installed which enables up to 22 cars to be charged at any one time, and the roof is lined with solar panels to power the building, and the UK produced furniture is all recyclable.

During the construction, nearly two-thirds of RG Carter employees who worked on the project were local, hailing from within 30 miles of the site – cutting travel and supporting local employment. Nearly 100 per cent of all waste created by the project was also diverted from landfill.

Cllr Ferguson said: “It is great that we can finally enjoy New Shire Hall’s official opening. The building has been operational since last summer but due to the pandemic we haven’t been able to celebrate our new centre of democracy. I am also looking forward to welcoming pupils from Alconbury C of E Primary School – these children are the future generation of Cambridgeshire, so it is fitting to include them as part of the ceremony.”

“Delivering net zero for the county council and the county is one of our biggest priorities, so it is only right that our civic centre should be designed and operating to a high environmental standard. Not only does it have an energy performance rating of A+, it is designed to save more than 70 tonnes of CO2e each year.

“The design and development of New Shire Hall embodies our commitment to achieving our targets, as well as providing an excellent ‘home’ for our staff and for services to thrive.”

The ceremony comprised of a ribbon cutting and unveiling of a plaque. The Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Julie Spence OBE QPM DL made a speech to mark the event, as did Cllr Mac McGuire the former Chair of the Council.

Image source: Cambridgeshire County Council

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