New council and police Customer Centre to open in the middle of Coalville

Published: Thu 1 December, 2022

Rupert Matthews, Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, Councillor Robert Ashman, Deputy Leader of North West Leicestershire District Council and Allison Thomas, Chief Executive of North West Leicestershire District Council celebrate the opening of the new Customer Centre in Coalville town centre.

North West Leicestershire District Council’s (NWLDC) new Customer Centre has opened its doors in the Belvoir Centre, Coalville, welcoming around 40 people on its first day.

The modern and welcoming centre is the place for all face-to-face enquiries and is also home to the council’s call centre.

While online services are available 24/7, self-serve bays give customers to access their online accounts in a bright and accessible space, along with support from council staff.

A police enquiry desk will be located in the centre from early 2023. Police enquiries will continue to be taken at the Council Offices until then.

NWLDC office changes

The relocation to Coalville town centre came as part of a widespread £4.3 million change to the council’s accommodation, brought on by a failing office building and a new hybrid working arrangement, which sees many staff working flexibly from home and the office.

The decision to move to two principal locations – the town centre for customer enquiries and a NWLDC-owned building on Whitwick Road for back-office functions – was made following assessments of the Council Offices on Whitwick Road.

The current office building is mainly a 1970s extension on an older building and it is failing. To bring it up to modern standards, the roof, windows, lift and internal infrastructure would need significant work or replacement, costing £4 million for basic repairs and over £7 million to refurbish for modern ways of working.

Instead, the council decided to use a building it already owned – Whitwick Business Centre – to create office spaces, and to transform a retail unit in the Belvoir Centre into a more accessible, modern Customer Centre in the heart of the town.

The older part of the Council Offices – Stenson House – is being refurbished and will still hold committee meetings, as well as some offices. The Registry Office and Citizens Advice will still be based there.

Once the Council Offices are empty, the land will be sold on the open market. These changes are costing £4.3 million in total, offset by the sale of the land.

Councillor Robert Ashman, Deputy Leader of NWLDC, said: “It’s great to see our new Customer Centre open and welcoming people for face-to-face enquiries and meetings. It’s a bright and modern space in the centre of town, and we hope our customers will feel the difference in comparison with our old customer service centre, which was not fit for purpose.”

Inspector Wayne Nimblette, commander for the North West Leicestershire Neighbourhood Policing Area (NPA), said: “Working alongside the council works well for our community, and we’re looking forward to opening our enquiry desk in the new Customer Centre in the new year. The central location within the shopping centre will give the community we serve a better opportunity to speak to us and raise any issues or concerns they may have.”

Rupert Matthews, Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, said: “I’m delighted to see that this new Customer Centre is opening its doors to the public and I look forward to the day that the police move in too. This is a really positive development and I’m proud to have played a part in it.

“Wherever I go people tell me that they would like the police to be more visible and easier to access and I agree with them. That’s why it’s so important that all the public agencies work together like this to improve accessibility to the services they provide. That is what I promised at the outset and I’m delighted to see yet another step in the right direction.”