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'Knock Keddies down to save money'
8:50am Tuesday 23rd July 2013 in News
A COUNCILLOR has called for the former Keddies department store in Queen Street to be demolished.
The building, which has been vacant since community art group, Slack Space, moved out last year, is in need of repairs and while it is empty, Colchester Council is liable for the business rates, thought to amount to about £80,000.
“It has sadly got to the stage where it has become an eyesore in a very creative area of the town,” said Will Quince, leader of the Colchester Conservative group.
“It is now costing this council about £80,000 a year in business rates, which I believe is money which could be better spent.”
He added: “I worry about the repair costs and whether it would be money well-spent.
“Would it not be a better plan to spend some money to knock it down?”
But Paul Smith, borough councillor responsible for business and resources, said it would be a false economy to knock it down.
“We would save money in terms of business rates by knocking it down, but that would rob us of an opportunity of gaining business rates on the building in the future.
“Signs point to the economy picking up and to have a facility like Keddies available to us to market to businesses in the future would be a real bonus.”
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