Workers at Eastleigh House in Upper Market have reacted in shock to the news that the building has been bought by Eastleigh Borough Council who intend to move the civic offices there from the current purpose built building on Leigh Road.
Staff on a smoke break outside the building yesterday, were surprised by the news said they had no idea how this would affect their employment.
Several wondered if the 1960’s office block would be suitable. They claimed the building had suffered from a number of problems including a leaking roof, cold and draughty metal frame windows, poor sound proofing and was described as being “unbearably hot in the summer and freezing in winter”.
The lift was also said to be prone to breaking down.
There are about 150 people who work in the companies based at Eastleigh House who will be displaced when the council move there.
One worker who did not wish to be named said:
‘Moving here might tick green boxes for the council but I use public transport to get to work and if my company is forced to move onto an industrial estate I will probably have to start using my car’
Eastleigh News understands that one company has already told its employees that they have a contract at Eastleigh house for the next seven years and have no intention of moving before then.
Eastleigh Borough Council who already own Black Horse House and Wessex House on Upper Market Street, have so far borrowed £100 million- partly to fund property acquisitions and borrowing is expected to soar by another £45 million.
Both Keith House, the Liberal Democrat leader of the council and Councillor Brian Norgate for the Labour Party have hailed the plan to move the civic offices as being good for the town centre economy.
Hampshire Police Authority planned to move from their ‘unsuitable’ purpose built HQ to an industrial unit in Chandlers Ford and to sell the HQ off for housing development. They purchased the unit for £7 million but it required substantial works. The move couldnt go ahead and the unit lies derelict. Could this also happen here?
Photos: ©stephen slominski