Housing group to move out of city offices

A SOCIAL housing group is to sell its premises and move in with East Cambridgeshire District Council.

Sanctuary Hereward will hand over its current St Mary’s Lodge offices to new developers so they can build a hotel in the city.

The landlord will transfer its customer services division to The Grange to give tenants “the opportunity to sort all their housing and Council needs in one visit through the new ‘one-stop shop’ facility”.

A spokesperson for Sanctuary Hereward said vacating the site for a new city centre hotel would “bring a much needed boost to the local economy”.

East Cambridgeshire District Council chief executive John Hill said a new, refurbished joint reception area could also help the local authority.

“Over recent months, we have been working with Sanctuary to find ways we can better serve our residents,” he said.

“One proposal has been to share a reception and customer service department at The Grange.”

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Mr Hill said that: “Detailed discussions are ongoing” but added: “We are hopeful that together we can provide an excellent service to meet the needs of our communities and ensure we have a professional and positive approach to any query.”

Sanctuary Hereward regional director Emma Keegan added: “Under these proposals, tenants will have a single point of contact for housing and other Council-related enquiries, reducing the need to visit multiple locations, which we know is an issue for some, such as the elderly or those with children.”

A spokesperson added that the social landlord has a “commitment to provide customers with a more effective service”.

Non-customer facing Sanctuary Hereward staff currently based in St Mary’s Lodge will be relocated to a new office in Ely.