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New plan for RICC in bid to woo government staff to the Bay

By Herald Express  |  Posted: February 06, 2014


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TORBAY is bidding for a government office to relocate its staff to the Riviera International Conference Centre, it has been confirmed.

It believes some 2,000 extra jobs could be created in the Bay if it won the bid to be the new home of a large scale government department. And it has suggested the grounds of the conference centre could be developed as its base.

Torbay Council and Torbay Development Agency have been working with specialist programme managers, DragonGate Market Intelligence, to put forward a proposal which could lead to the jobs being moved to the Bay in a series of phases.

Land at the Riviera International Conference Centre was proposed for a Torbay public services hub following a thorough review of Torbay sites.

The council says it would enhance existing facilities and secure the centre's legacy into the future of Torbay's growing economy, while enabling the RICC to continue its ongoing business during the construction phase without any adverse impact on its future conferences.

The proposal is for alterations over four storeys with basement parking circa 200,000 sq ft. The councils says the hub would provide modern, fit-for-purpose buildings with enhanced conference facilities and related amenities within a 10-minute walk of Torquay train station — one of central government's requisites for a 'future proof' hub project.

Mayor of Torbay Gordon Oliver said: "A robust options appraisal for a public services hub in Torbay has been proposed, outlining significant benefits in terms of jobs, investment, infrastructure improvement and health.

"I urge Whitehall to conclude the business case for Torbay is a strong one which will deliver double benefits to central government costs savings by reducing their level of investment compared to London-based assets and helping to reduce the unemployment bill locally in Torbay."

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