>> 3 July 2015
A £5 million council office in Peterhead has been officially opened, marking a milestone in the improvement of local services.
Buchan House, a one-stop-shop for a range of council services, is Aberdeenshire Council’s new area headquarters. Located in the centre of the town on a former brownfield site, it now houses a range of council services which had been spread across a number of local offices.
The new building has transformed a derelict and brownfield site at St Peter Street, contributing to ongoing regeneration efforts in the town. The whole project was based on reducing the whole-life costs of the building and ensuring efficiencies could be reinvested in public services in the area.
The design team were given a brief to apply the Council’s Worksmart policies and to design a modern interpretation of a civic building to respect the site, location and flexibility of customer uses.
It is now a hub for both employees and residents, offering access for customers to 16 different services. Staff spanning Communities, Education and Children’s Services, Infrastructure Services and Business Services are located within the new office.
Provost Hamish Vernal said:
"This building has already seen decisions taken on a potential world-first carbon capture project which, subject to decisions later in the year, could be a truly significant contributor to an already vibrant energy industry with proven success in engineering excellence.
“It is just one example of several significant developments planned for the future and bodes well for the economic opportunities in the Buchan Area.”
Chairman of the Buchan Area Committee, Cllr Stuart Pratt, said:
In his opening speech, Provost Vernal welcomed the news that the range of public services will be extended by co-location with Police Scotland and NHS Grampian.
Aberdeenshire Council awarded the £5million contract to Robertson Construction Ltd following a competitive tender exercise.
Keith Taylor, Regional Managing Director for Robertson, said:
“The use of local skilled tradespeople and local supplies has been key to the successful delivery of the project and involvement with the local community at every stage. We look forward to seeing Buchan House serve Peterhead for years to come.”
The council is marketing the buildings it has vacated in Peterhead, with a focus on attracting occupants which will benefit the area and has already sold the former area office at Arbuthnot House and the adjoining building to an expanding local firm.