Harrow Council plans to develop its main depot to accommodate staff and services as part of its new working methods post-Covid.

Its cabinet will discuss its updated ‘accommodation strategy’ at a meeting tomorrow (Thursday, May 26), including proposals to fit out the Central Depot, in Forward Drive, Wealdstone.

This is expected to cost around £8.4 million and will cater for up to 1,000 people across five floors.

The move was described by Harrow Council leader Cllr Graham Henson (Lab, Roxbourne) as a “considerable improvement on the existing approach” that will “allow staff to work in a more modern, flexible environment”.

It will sit alongside the council’s ambitions to build a new civic centre – also in Wealdstone – with these two buildings acting as its key sites for staff and services going forward.

Plans at both locations have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with working habits forever changed as more people work from home or on a hybrid basis.

The proposed new civic centre will be smaller than first suggested but will remain the main civic building, while there will be greater emphasis placed in Forward Drive than initially planned as it becomes “the principal focus for staff”.

There are also plans to use the updated depot until the new civic centre is completed as the current civic centre, in Station Road, is deemed unfit for purpose, particularly since the pandemic.

According to a report to be presented to the council’s cabinet, this way forward will allow “a modern, agile approach to work”.

It will focus on flexibility – a concept made more apparent since Covid-19 – and the use of technology to allow staff to communicate more effectively.

However, the report stressed it is “not just about home working” rather “a more complete working experience” – a point emphasised by Cllr Henson who said it was important to “look at things in a different way” where necessary.