Surrey County Council takes former Canon HQ in Reigate

Entrance to the site, off Cockshot Hill (photo by reigate.uk)

Surrey County Council has acquired the former Canon headquarters located in Woodhatch, Reigate.

An announcement is expected in a matter of days on how the county council intends to use the vacant site, which contains 110,000 square feet of offices, 476 car parking spaces, and landscaped grounds.

There are a number of reasons why a local authority might acquire a large office site, including for leasing out as part of an investment portfolio, or as a base for its own services.

The council is known to have been looking for some time to move its headquarters back into Surrey and out of the London borough of Kingston-upon-Thames.

A planned move to offices in Woking fell through this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, although the council did tell Surrey Live in April that Woking was still its preferred choice of location.

No planning applications are currently showing for the Reigate site, and the land registry currently still shows Canon as the owner.

A Surrey County Council spokesperson said yesterday (28 July): “We can confirm that Surrey County Council has acquired the former Canon HQ site at Woodhatch in Reigate.

“An announcement regarding our plans for the site will be made in the coming days.”

The main building at the Cockshot Hill site was purpose-built for Canon in 2000.  Opened by the Duke of Edinburgh, it went on to win a number of awards for its design and environmentally-friendly features, including one from the Reigate Society.

As well as the modern building, there is also an 18th century country house.

Canon has now fully left the site, having announced its departure in June 2019 as it consolidated its UK and Ireland headquarters into its other (larger) offices in Uxbridge.