New offers to be considered for council offices

New bids are to be considered for Crescent Garden
New bids are to be considered for Crescent Garden

Harrogate Borough confirmed this week new offers are to be considered for Crescent Gardens council offices after time has run out for an exclusive bid.

New offers on the site are being considered after a decision was made to terminate the exclusive bid for the council’s preferred choice at Cabinet earlier this month.

The council will continue to carry out talks with the bidder but negotiations will now be done alongside consideration of new bids.

Cabinet Member for Tourism, Economic Development and Enterprise, Coun Graham Swift, has stressed the decision is necessary to ensure the borough does not miss out on other commercial opportunities.

Coun Swift said: “Our exclusivity has been terminated but we are still in negotiations, and now with other people who have a commercial interest to enter into that dialogue.

“We have ongoing negotiations with the same company as you would expect, but they have now been going on for some time and we get a lot of interest in the building.

“After some time of this we have to say we are opening ourselves up to other commercial opportunities.

“We do not want people to think that we are just sitting around on this.

“I would be quite surprised if the exclusive bidder did not continue their negotiations with us, but we will now be doing so while having discussions with other buyers.”

Councillors approved recommendations of the bidder to purchase the site at an Extraordinary meeting held in September last year.

Time was given to the exclusive bidder to let them research the site and ensure they were willing to go ahead with the deal.

Heads of terms agreements had been reached in October but despite this ,contracts have still not been signed and exchanged.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Coun Pat Marsh, Hookstone, has fought for the site to include public access to the middle section of the garden after plans to sell off the site were agreed on.

Coun Marsh said: “From our perspective their offer delivered all we wanted, but as happens with deals ,clauses get added.”

Harrogate Council moves from Crescent Gardens to its new £9 million base at Knapping Mount later this year.