Discussions are ongoing over renting out more of the empty space in council offices left over from staff working from home.

Scrutiny committee members heard that Ceredigion County Council’s draft budget for 2024/25 sets out a target of bringing in an extra £50,000 next year from renting out spaces in Canolfan Rheidol in Aberystwyth and Penmorfa in Aberaeron.

A consultation of the re-use of office buildings vacated by staff who now work from home following the change to hybrid working during the covid-19 pandemic was undertaken in December 2022 and January 2023.

“There was support for the re- use of buildings, in particular for health and social care type uses,” a report put before members said.

Cabinet member Cllr Clive Davies said that £25,000 had been brought in by renting out parts of Canolfan Rheidol for physiotherapy, while discussions are ongoing for renting more space as well as desks that could bring in another £40,000 to £70,000 respectively.

Cllr Davies said that work is “ongoing” to fill any empty spaces with external organisations.

Corporate Lead Officer for Economy and Regeneration Russell Hughes-Pickering told members that work to fill gaps in council buildings only began in earnest once the decision to make permanent the hybrid working arrangements introduced during the pandemic was made by full council.

Now, he said, “discussions with Welsh Government and the University are ongoing as there is two big buildings so there needs to be a lot of thought of what their use is in the future.”

“It takes time, it’s not an overnight thing,” he said.