Developing a business case for a ‘hub and spoke’ model for civic accommodation

The Assignment

Cambridgeshire County Council developed a bold ambition to transform the way in which it delivers services to the public together with its asset base. This involves reducing the Council’s presence at its central Cambridge Shire Hall site and operating from a smaller Civic “Hub” with several smaller “Spoke” offices.

This Council’s aims were to generate financial savings, maximise the return on surplus property assets whilst improving service deliver with partners to support service users.

The Role

We were appointed with Carter Jonas to complete a detailed Business case on two potential locations for the proposed hub. As part of this work we:

  • Developed financial and non-financial assessment criteria for appraising options, including accessibility, connectivity and deliverability and collected and validated the necessary data for the appraisal;
  • Completing a detailed financial analysis of the options, including revenue income from the Shire Hall site, the new Hub site and any other costs associated with sharing sites with partners;
  • Undertook a survey of all staff operating from Shire Hall to understand their preferences for future location;
  • Analysed the Council’s existing operational asset base to understand existing spare capacity and engaged with current and potential public sector partners to identify new spoke offices;
  • Outlined the timeframes as well as risk and opportunities associated with the options.

Key Outcomes

The Council gained a thorough and independent assessment of the options for locating its new “Hub” office, together with and a good understanding of the likely cost of the new facility. It also gained an accurate picture of where the “spoke” offices would be best located. This enabled them to make an informed decision about where to locate the new hub.