Cherwell District Council has started exploring moving out of its current headquarters, as it is has become “too big for its needs”.

The district council’s offices are in Bodicote House between Banbury and Bodicote, but the council has said that new hybrid working arrangements since Covid-19 have meant it is reconsidering workspace requirements.

The leader of Cherwell District Council, Barry Wood, said the building had become “too big” and he said Castle Quay was a possible location where the council could relocate to, as it owns the development.

Oxford Mail: The council is considering relocating from Bodicote HouseThe council is considering relocating from Bodicote House (Image: Ed Nix)

Mr Wood said: “We have started to explore a potential move to a new and more suitable home that meets our needs now and in the future.

“Bodicote House has served us well for many years, but it has become clear that it is now too big for us, and there may be a better place to be based that can save money and benefit our residents and communities.”

Mr Wood said there was space to “create a modern, energy efficient office” and “provide first class services from a central Banbury location with good transport links and access”.

The council is at the stage of conducting feasibility work and this will then be worked into a business case which will eventually require formal approval.

Oxford Mail: Barry Wood, leader of Cherwell District CouncilBarry Wood, leader of Cherwell District Council

The leader of the Labour Group at Cherwell District Council Sean Woodcock has supported the potential relocation, as he believes it “would have a significant beneficial impact on the town centre”.

Mr Woodcock said: "We have been consistent in supporting the council's attempts to regenerate Banbury town centre, including the purchase of Castle Quay which we saw as part of that.

“It would support Castle Quay and existing businesses, encourage more new investment and help to make Banbury an even better destination for residents and visitors to enjoy.

“This is a positive step forward as we plan for the future.”

The council believes moving to a smaller and more energy efficient office could help save on annual running and maintenance costs.

It also believes that offices in Castle Quay would be more accessible for householders.

The potential move could occur in late 2024 and will be subject to all necessary approvals.

If the council does decide to move out of Bodicote House, then it will also have the opportunity to look at plans for the site.

Cherwell District council initially only owned a 15 per cent share of the Castle Quay site but in 2018 it paid £58 million for the remaining portion.

Cherwell’s Conservative leadership defended the purchase at the time by arguing that it was the key to revitalising the shopping centre.