Plymouth Council has put its crumbling Civic Centre up for sale, three years after the iconic Hector J W Stirling-designed structure was listed
The 15-storey post-war building was listed at Grade II in 2007, effectively saving it from demolition by the local authority which had earmarked the site for redevelopment.
At the time the council hit out at the decision which it said stymied the city centre’s regeneration prospects. But this week it emerged the local authority will vacate the 22,000m² municipal building once a buyer is found.
Catherine Croft, director of the Twentieth Century Society, said: ‘It seems enormously sad they don’t see it as having a future in the city.
‘Obviously we hope someone will come along and restore it but the best solution would be if the local authority took some pride in the building. It’s an amazing kind of sculptural form, it’s also got amazing art work inside.’
The building, which sits on a 1.2 hectare site, is on the market without a price tag.
Chris Trevitt, head of capital and assets for the council, explained to the Plymouth’s The Herald: ‘We have a few more years of make do and mend, but then we are going to have to spend substantial money. The cladding panels, for instance, are close to the end of their life and we need to spend a lot of money to replace them and comply with the listed status.’
Ian Bowyer, cabinet member for finance and property, added: ‘We’ve been working towards finding a solution and need to know once and for all, if this building can be sold. This is the next stage and we are genuinely keen to see if there is interest in the building before we can go any further. The costs of maintaining a building no longer fit for purpose are beginning to escalate and in the current financial environment we would rather see this money spent on front-line services.’
Plymouth city architect Hector J W Stirling was appointed in 1954 to design the building, which he completed in 1962.