A GWENT council has purchased a new office block with space for 200 workers as it readies itself to exit its beleaguered HQ.

Monmouthshire Council is to move part of its staff into a new 30,000 square-foot building at the Wales 1 Business Park, Magor.

It has been on the hunt for space for 200-employees after deciding in January that plans for a £28 million 350-seat headquarters at Coleg Gwent’s Usk site were too expensive.

Current HQ County Hall, Cwmbran, has to be vacated by March 2012 at the latest as it is riddled with concrete cancer.

The council said it could not tell the Argus the cost of the building due to reasons of commercial confidentiality, but a council report in January reckoned a 200-employee building would set it back £5 million.

Councillors and democratic functions will still be located at the Usk site, in a scaled down £8 million building with desks for 100 staff.

Employees will hot-desk and will also be able to work from home or other offices across the county.

Precisely who will be working in the new office, located just off Junction 23A of the M4, is currently unclear, but it is thought many of the roles transferred with be in “technical and back office” positions.

Offices in Abergavenny, Chepstow, Monmouth and Caldicot will also be renovated.

In total the renovation plan is likely to cost £17 million.