You might expect council office buildings to be in a huge, faceless, high-rise tower block. Ours are a refreshing change. B&NES office-based staff work in four main centres across our region - Bath's historic Guildhall and Lewis House, the state-of-the-art Keynsham Civic Centre, and the smaller and quieter Hollies, in Midsomer Norton.
For those staff whose roles allow flexible working, there's also the fourth location of their own homes. We have invested substantially in the technology to enable staff to work seamlessly from home, taking the hassle of commuting and parking out of their workday, and offering a much better work/life balance.
"I have the chance to work in a range of different locations, including home. I work in a modern office some of the time, in a more traditional office and also in a heritage venue. They are very different - from large open plan and airy to smaller and more traditional offices. I do have to plan my time to ensure that I have somewhere to work but if I don't have any meetings I can easily work at home, which is ideal when I need to concentrate." - Jackie, Human Resources Business Partner
The Guildhall and Lewis House, Bath
"I love being in the city centre; its great for getting errands done on your lunch break, for socialising after work, but its also a beautiful and vibrant place to work. I love that I can walk to work, and the location - a short walk from the train station - is ideal." - Samantha, Planning Officer
Built in the 1770s, on a site used for municipal buildings since Tudor times, Bath's Guildhall is a Grade 1 listed building. This heritage venue hosts numerous concerts, festivals and conferences, as well as being a unique place to work. Housed on the same site is the historic Guildhall Market, Bath's oldest shopping venue, where you can buy anything from secondhand books to local cheese.
Lewis House is a mid-century building constructed of traditional Bath stone on Manvers Street, at the edge of the city centre. The building houses houses three floors of modern open-plan office space and meeting rooms, as well as Bath's One Stop Shop and Information Centre, where the public can come to do council business.
Both the Guildhall and Lewis House are in Bath's bustling city centre, within easy reach of a wide range of shops, public parks, the river and an abundance of world heritage architecture. They are both a short walk from the city's train station, and the excellent Park&Ride bus service offers a speedy route into town for staff who live outside the city limits.
"Being located in the centre of Bath is fantastic. It is a great city which has so much going on, alongside its beautiful Georgian architecture and town planning. Comparing this to working on a business park somewhere makes all the difference when taking a lunch break." - Chris, Senior Planning Officer
Keynsham Civic Centre
Winner of awards from the Civic Trust, RIBA and CIBSE, the Keynsham Civic Centre is the result of extensive collaboration with the local community, and a central part of a wider regeneration scheme for the town. The complex, completed in 2014, includes public spaces, a market square, shops, cafes and Keynsham's Library and Information Centre, as well as council office space. Its innovative design is driven by high sustainability standards and achieves a remarkably low environmental impact, with passive heating and cooling systems.
"I'm primarily based in Keynsham. The building itself is fantastic and looks stunning. I really like the way we have hacked the space where we work. It wasn't quite right for the team, so we moved things around and have really made a space that we can collaborate in" - Tim, IT Project Manager
Inside, the workspace is expansive, light and airy, with huge windows, a giant atrium and high ceilings. As well as open plan working areas and a variety of meeting spaces, there's a cafe serving drinks and light lunches. Located in the centre of town, next to several car parks, the local leisure centre and park and a five-minute walk from Keynsham train station, the Civic Centre is easy to commute to, and very convenient for local facilities.
"I love the location. My commute is less than 20 minutes, through beautiful countryside, and I can easily can park within walking distance of work, which I would never get in the centre of Bristol. " - Kate, Digital Content Officer
The Hollies, Midsomer Norton
Situated in the market town of Midsomer Norton and equidistant from Bath and Wells, The Hollies is a really convenient office base for staff who live in the south of our region. Two floors of offices share premises with the town's Library and One Stop Shop for council business, providing a useful hub for local residents. For staff, these offices present a quieter alternative to Keynsham's Civic Centre or Bath's Guildhall, but still with town centre facilities on your doorstep. Just off the town's high street, it's easy to get to the Hollies by bus or car.
"Choosing where to base myself each day really helps me to plan my work more effectively and also my social/personal life. I get to meet a range of new colleagues and get to catch up with others I've known for years. The chance to work from home is great too when I need real peace and quiet to concentrate on a piece of work." - Chantal, Human Resources and Organisational Development