Surrey County Council intends to use the former Canon headquarters in Reigate for a variety of purposes, including as a school, supported accommodation and as one of four “main hubs” in the county.
Surrey has acquired the vacant site in Woodhatch, which has around 20 acres of land including 110,000 square feet of offices, 476 car parking spaces, and landscaped grounds.
Asked about plans for the location, off Cockshot Hill, a spokesperson for the county council said yesterday (13 August):
“Surrey County Council recently acquired a new site in Reigate to provide the land for a new 600 pupil junior school in conjunction with the Department for Education.
“We are now exploring the delivery of other key services such as Adult Extra Care and other supported needs residential accommodation on the site, which also contains existing offices within the grounds.”
The spokesperson also said:
“For some time, we have been firmly committed to the ambition to move our workforce back into Surrey as well as make better use of our existing council and community spaces around the county.
“The lockdown period has allowed us time to review the council’s longer-term property and estates plan.
“The Reigate site will be one of four main hubs within the county, incorporating new-style workspace and meeting spaces.
“We will be able to use the new building for civic activity – for council meetings, democratic support and leadership meetings, within the constraints of any social distancing restrictions in place at the time.
“The council’s County Hall in Kingston is being actively marketed and the intention is that the building will be closed at the end of December 2020.”
No planning applications have yet appeared for the site, and so the various parts of Surrey’s plans can be expected to happen over different timescales.
Canon has now fully vacated the site, having announced it would be leaving in June 2019, consolidating its UK and Ireland headquarters into its other (larger) offices in Uxbridge.
The main building at the site was purpose-built for the company in 2000. Opened by the Duke of Edinburgh, it went on to win a number of awards for its design and environmentally-friendly features.
As well as the modern building, there is also an 18th century country house.