HEREFORDSHIRE Council's customer service centre is set to move to its fourth home in less than a decade.

Plans have been announced to merge the council's customer services team and the Job Centre Plus service in a new home at Blueschool House on Blueschool Street which will be refurbished in a near £1million scheme.

The move means the customer services hub will relocate around 100 yards from its current home in Franklin House just five years after moving there from the now demolished Garrick House, further along Blueschool Street, which itself only housed the hub from February 2007.

The council says the latest move will not only regenerate a key city centre site, which is currently used by the authority, but could free up Franklin House for the city's impending university project.

"The creation of a new customer service hub will bring more services together in one central Hereford location for the benefit of local residents," said Cllr Harry Bramer, cabinet member for contracts and assets.

"The hub will be near to the city's transport links and retail developments and will further reduce the need to travel between locations.

"Blueschool House gives the appearance of a tired and outdated building, but the proposed changes will bring it into line with the recent regeneration at the Old Market, providing a modern, fit for purpose, flexible and reduced carbon footprint building."

Cllr Bramer says Franklin House will then be free for development and regeneration "possibly as part of the proposed new university". He said the savings generated will be re-directed towards priority council services.

The project will cost £950,000 to implement, with the council paying £250,000. It will save £1.9million over ten years. The rest of the funding is set to come from the Department for Work and Pensions (£400k) and the Homes and Communities Agency (300k).

Work is due to start towards the end of the year and will be open to the public next summer with opening hours expected to increase over the next few years.