Published: 15:07, 19 January 2022
| Updated: 15:09, 19 January 2022
Work on converting former council offices in Sheerness into a £1.3 million community and business hub is about to begin.
Security fences are now in place surrounding Master's House in Trinity Road.
Cllr Monique Bonney, cabinet member for economy and property at Swale council, said: “Cabinet approved the £1.3 million low-carbon refurbishment of Master’s House last year and we’re delighted that work can now begin."
The inside, originally used by Sheerness Urban District Council and more lately as a base for Sheerness Town Council, is being stripped out to make way for nine office suites, a disabled access lift, new toilets, three meeting and conference spaces including the large function hall, a kitchen and breakout space and three workshops.
Cllr Bonney said: “We’ll be using the council’s capital fund for the work alongside our successful bid for more than £200,000 of grant funding from the public sector's decarbonisation scheme."
She added: "Alongside the new layout we’ll be replacing the current, inefficient heating system with low-energy air-source heat pumps and installing roof insulation, internal wall cladding, new double-glazed windows and solar panels. The building will also be able to accommodate disabled/wheelchair users.
“We hope this significant investment will help attract private companies to revitalise the surrounding area."
The work will also help the council become net-zero carbon by 2025 by reducing the building’s carbon footprint by 84 tonnes and saving around £8,260 on energy bills a year.”
Cllr Bonney said: “We recognise Sheerness needs this investment. It’s important we attract and retain businesses in the town and make the best use of our own buildings to lead the way.”
The work is expected to be completed by the end of the summer. Cllr Bonney said she had already received interest from businesses and community groups to use the offices and meeting spaces.
“We encourage anybody interested in being part of the new-look Master’s House to get in touch,” she said.
Details of the refurbishment were being discussed at the council's scrutiny meeting tonight (Wednesday) at 7pm at Swale House, Sittingbourne.
The charity which runs Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey had already offered to renovate the building with its own funds to create a meeting space, offices for Sheerness Town Council and other organisations and affordable apartments for key works like teachers and nurses but was turned down.
The renovated Dockyard Church at Blue Town is also expected to open this autumn with shared office space for start-ups.
For details of hiring Master's House, email email@example.com.