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Page last updated at 17:30 GMT, Tuesday, 25 January 2011
Hull Council unveils new 7m customer service centre
Reception area
The council is expecting over 600 customers a day

Hull City Council is opening a new centralised customer service centre.

The Wilson Centre cost nearly £7m and overlooks the city's Queen's Gardens.

The idea is to provide a "one stop shop", allowing the public to access more than 130 services in one place.

The council say the centre has been developed in response to demands from locals.

The new facility will see the closure and transfer of staff from other council centres in the city.

There will also be a reduction in the opening hours of some local neighbourhood centres.

Despite this, the councillor responsible for customer services, Mike Ross, denied they were planning to reduce the number of local information centres and said the council was, "committed to a city-wide customer centre provision."

He acknowledged that the current cutback in public finances was a factor in its opening, but said that the centre would also improve public access to council services:

Mike Ross
Councillor Mike Ross: Portfolio Holder for Customer and and Neighbourhood Services, Hull City Council

"We can free up resources elsewhere. We're clearly in quite a financial situation at the moment, both locally and across the country, so we do have to be careful about how we spend our money. And this is a fantastic example of how we can do both."

The council spent £6.7m buying the former office building and converting it to its new role. They hope it will pay for itself within 10 years by saving money on leasing other city centre buildings.

The ground floor has been designed as a huge open-plan space, with free internet access and a small café. The public can talk to council workers in a row of booths or request a private room for more sensitive discussions.

Upstairs, two floors of offices will house 300 council workers.

It was named in a public vote after Charles Wilson, the Hull based Victorian shipping magnate.

The building opens its doors to the public on Monday 31st January.

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