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The Guardian: "Brent council's new £90m civic centre seen as machine for making money"

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"At a time when local authorities are being forced to make cuts, it might seem strange for Brent, the most deprived borough in west London, to be unveiling a new £90m council headquarters. But the gleaming new civic centre, which stands in the shadow of Wembley stadium, is no ordinary council office.

"Designed by Hopkins, architects of the palatial Portcullis House at Westminster, it is conceived as a 21st-century machine for delivering public services – and making money.

"Bringing together every council department of one of London's largest boroughs – currently housed in 14 buildings scattered across the area – it combines the functions of a town hall and conference centre, wedding venue and public library, cafe and 'customer service centre'. Before its opening, it has been declared the most sustainable public building in the UK, complete with a boiler that runs on fish oil.

"Aktar Choudhury, the centre's programme director, said:
"By bringing everything together on one site, this building will save us £2.5m a year."

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