Bringing Guildhall boilers up to date and up to the job

Plymouth’s Guildhall is to get new boilers as part of an ongoing programme to make the Council’s buildings more efficient.

Old, inefficient oil-fired boilers are to be replaced with gas boilers and the heat they generate will also heat the Council House, once it has been disconnected from the main part of the Civic Centre.

The current boilers are more than 50 years old and the new ones will be more energy-efficient and economical, saving around £10,000 a year in the Council’s carbon footprint, energy and fuel consumption.

Work is due to start next week (18 May) to dig a trench between both the Guildhall and the Council House for the supply pipework. It is likely to be in place for around six weeks.

Another trench is also about to be created from the Council House to lay the fibre-optic cables that will be needed for the new CCTV system being installed in the Council House. This work is also due to start shortly.

Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Mark Lowry said: “This is an incredibly complicated project, but we’ve now reached a stage where the work is becoming very visible to the public.

“We’ve tried to keep disruption to a minimum but appreciate this will have impact on people who use the area outside the Council House.”

The project is part of the Council’s Transformation Programme which looks at how the organisation can be more efficient, more commercially-minded and make better uses of its assets.

A major aspect of the Transformation Programme has been to ensure the smooth move of Council staff from the Civic Centre, ahead of Urban Splash taking over the listed building for redevelopment by the Autumn.

The project involves separating the shared utilities that run between the Civic and the Council House and moving the Traffic Control Unit and CCTV Control Room into the basement of the Council House.

Work has already started on the basement to convert it ready for its new functions. The Civic Centre currently provides the Council House with utilities, including heating, as well as IT network connections; before the Civic Centre can be redeveloped these connections will need to be severed and moved.

The work will take place in stages and it is anticipated that meetings in the Council House will not be affected by the works.