The new office will house up to 535 staff and provide a government base to serve people in mid and west Wales. A similar development is under construction in Llandudno Junction to serve north Wales, due to open in 2010.
The Aberystwyth office will house various Government departments including Rural Affairs and Heritage, Department of Economy and Transport and Sustainable Futures as well as some regional corporate teams such as communication and translation.
The First Minister said:
“The opening of this new office in Aberystwyth heralds the latest step in our commitment to bringing our services even closer to the people of Wales.
“We have established one important base already in the heart of the Valleys in Merthyr Tydfil. This one in Aberystwyth is in the heart of rural mid Wales and Llandudno Junction on the central junction of North Wales will be third. We are sending a clear message that we wish to engage more proactively with people on a local level and ensure they are better informed about our work. It also provides people with a better opportunity to tell us their views.”
As well as providing a staffing base there will also be within the office a public access area, Y Bont, an area where anyone can come in and visit, find out more information about the Welsh Assembly Government, surf the web and enjoy a cup of coffee.
Mr Morgan hopes that many will take advantage of this opportunity:
“This is about much more than just an office space. Y Bont is an innovative public area, the first of its kind within a Government office. I really hope that people will see it as a place to call in, talk to staff and give us their thoughts.
“The office itself is also being designed with the environment in mind with power and heat being generated using wind turbines, solar panels and a biomass heater that we are sharing with our neighbours, Ceredigion Council. It is a building designed for the future.”
On Saturday, 17 October a public open day will be held at the office between 10am and 4pm and anyone is welcome to come along and see the new office. There will also be various activities including cookery workshops, face painting and competitions.