MONMOUTHSHIRE council is proposing to upgrade its Usk offices amid plans to relocate more than 100 members of staff across the county.

A planning application to build a raised footbridge between County Hall and a neighbouring building formerly used by Coleg Gwent has been submitted.

Staff from Innovation House, near Magor, are expected to move into the ‘J block’ building from late July onwards.

The proposed five-metre-long footbridge, which will be covered, will allow for ease of movement between the two buildings, says a report.

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Extensive refurbishments are planned for J block, a former teaching block which has been vacant for nearly four years since Coleg Gwent staff left in early 2015.

The building will be extensively refurbished to allow for 108 workspaces in an open-plan setting, with a new lift, windows and doors and external escape stairs also proposed.

Once the workforce has made the move, the council will rent out the office space on the Wales 1 Business Park for extra income.

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A council spokeswoman said: “The project is funded partly by the capital programme and the remainder through borrowing which will be serviced from revenue savings that will be realised through the co-location of staff.”

Monmouthshire council’s planning committee will discuss the application on Tuesday, February 5, with officers recommending that it is approved.

If permission is granted, the council is aiming for work to start in early February

There are also plans to extend County Hall’s car park by 170 spaces to accommodate the relocated staff.

This would involve the demolition of another former Coleg Gwent building, ‘M block’, though the separate scheme has yet to be submitted for consideration.