WORK to transform a former town school building into a one-stop shop of council services is set to begin next month.

Parkside Middle School's former Stourbridge Road home was earmarked for demolition in 2008, but was saved at the last minute when it was granted Grade II listed status.

The building has been derelict ever since, but a review by both Bromsgrove District and Worcestershire County councils of public sector buildings within the town centre identified it as an ideal location to house both authority's services.

The £6.9 million project has been supported by both councils and received planning permission, with members highlighting the positive of breathing new life into a redundant building whilst freeing up the site of the district council’s current Burcot Lane home.

It has now been announced work on the building will start on Monday, March 10.

Once completed the refurbished building will be home to the district council, staff from both authorities, Bromsgrove Library, Bromsgrove Customer Service Centre, the town's Job Centre and Registration Service office.

There will be two main elements of building work, being carried out by Thomas Vale Construction, the refurbishment of the existing building and the extension of the site.

The project design team has been working closely with English Heritage and the district conservation officer, to ensure the plans have been developed sympathetically to their surroundings.

Anthony Blagg, Worcestershire County councillor for Bromsgrove Central, said: "I'm delighted to see work starting on the Parkside site as I have been championing development here since initial discussions in 2005.

"The Parkside project is a great example of two local authorities working collaboratively to identify opportunities to rationalise and share public sector buildings.

"The building will house a number of services and make it easier for local people to access these in a single location. The project will also contribute to our property savings targets by releasing assets for sale, reducing operating costs and delivering revenue savings."

Bromsgrove District Council leader Roger Hollingworth said: “This is an important stage of the Bromsgrove Town Centre Regeneration Programme and follows High Street improvements getting underway.

"When Parkside is finished it will join the other successes we have seen in the last couple of years, which include the police and fire station and the medical centre.

"This demonstrates that we can utilise and develop the town’s historic buildings to benefit residents, businesses and visitors.

"It will really revitalise the area, increase the footfall on the High Street, and go towards building a better Bromsgrove like we have always promised.”