A major employer is relocating from Sleaford to bigger premises in Lincoln, but the district council’s economic development team do not believe it will have a significant impact on trade in the area.
Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) has around 2,500 staff in community hospitals, health clinics, schools, children’s centres and delivering care to patients at home.
LCHS opened its Sleaford headquarters at Bridge House, Lions Way, in 2011, but in a bid to move more staff under one roof, is relocating to Lincoln, taking 127 staff from Sleaford to the city by the end of this month.
Andrew Morgan, LCHS chief executive, thanked the businesses and people of Sleaford for their support, but said: “Unfortunately, the building here at Sleaford no longer meets our needs and we are moving staff over to a more suitable building in Lincoln.”
The Sleaford headquarters had experienced problems with overcrowding and parking congestion. The change will see 270 staff from sites in Sleaford, Lincoln and Gainsborough drawn together under one roof at newly refurbished Beech House in Lincoln.
Suzanne Bradley, head of estates and facilities management at LCHS, said: “Having more clinical and non-clinical staff in the same building will lead to more joined up working and better lines of communication.”
The 25,000 sq ft Beech House, on Waterside South, was refurbished through a two-phase project at a cost of £1million by Investors in Lincoln who own the building. Phase 1 saw the ground floor handed over to LCHS in September and phase 2 on the first and second floors was handed over this week. The Riversdale Clinic will remain open in Sleaford and staff will still be working in the community.
A spokesman from NKDC’s Economic Development team said: “We have no doubt that some people may find this move inconvenient but our local economy will not suffer unduly and we are pleased to hear that there are no job losses for our area.
““We do not know how many of the 127 people live in Sleaford itself in order to assess the impact but as North Kesteven already has a 50 per cent commuter population we imagine the impact will be marginal. Furthermore, many staff will still remain employed within Sleaford’s excellent location and as there is a shortage of office space within Sleaford this will help open up plots for more companies to work within the town. Additionally, choosing to relocate a commutable distance will also help to relieve traffic congestion within Sleaford.”