A MULTI-MILLION pound deal has been struck to sell off West Lothian Council’s former HQ.
West Lothian House in Livingston will be bought for £3 million by a subsidiary of Land Securities, who own The Centre retail development.
The decision was reached at a meeting of the council’s Executive Committee on Tuesday, following months of negotiations.
An agreement was previously reached in 2008 to sell the empty office block in Almondvale Boulevard for over £4million, but the lower figure was agreed upon after Land Securities said that due to the downturn in the economy and its severe impact on the retail sector, it could not pay that amount.
The deal for the 1.038 hectare site will see the council receive £200,000 in five annual instalments, with a £2million lump sum after five years.
It is subject to a number of conditions, with a household name retailer already earmarked for the site after it has been converted to retail space.
Land Securities now plan to carry out consultation over their plans including an exhibition to give the public the chance to comment on their proposals.
Council leader, Peter Johnston, said: “We are pleased to move forward in selling our former home for £3million.
“West Lothian House has been sitting empty since the migration to the Civic Centre was completed late last year, and it’s important this central site is returned to productive use as soon as possible.
“This deal represents good value for the council and West Lothian, and we believe it is in the best interest of all parties.
“Although the price is reduced from the figure agreed in 2008, we have to accept that the economic factors have changed significantly in the last few years, due to the impact of the credit crunch on the retail sector, and we do not know if or when prices will get back to their 2008 level.
“The opportunity to bring yet another high-profile retailer to West Lothian is too good to miss, as it will create much-needed new jobs and attract even more visitors to the area.”