HUNDREDS of council staff are being moved into the city centre to boost its regeneration and save Bradford Council £1.2 million a year.

The staff, from the Children's Services department, are being pulled out of their base at Future House, Bowling, Bradford, and moved into Bradford's old Central Library building.

The building, now renamed Margaret McMillan Tower, has been refurbished into office space and will be the new Children's Services hub.

Future House is not owned by the Council, and by vacating it, the authority expects to save £1.2 million a year in leasing and running costs.

Council bosses also hope that bringing about 550 staff members into the city centre will boost its regeneration by adding to footfall.

The phased move began last week and is due to be complete by December 18.

Councillor Val Slater, Bradford Council's deputy leader, said: "The move to Margaret McMillan Tower is part of the council's rationalisation of its properties which will save considerable amounts of money.

"The transfer of staff into the city centre will also increase footfall and boost businesses at a time of exciting growth for Bradford."

Michael Jameson, strategic director of children's services, added: "We are confident that this well-planned move to Margaret McMillan Tower will be a seamless transition.

"Staff will continue to deliver their vital services in the most efficient way possible."

The Central Library, in Princes Way, was condemned as a fire risk in 2011 and was dealt a further blow in 2013 when asbestos was found throughout the building.

The library service was moved to the new City Library in City Park later that year, and the former Central Library was refurbished and remodelled into offices.

The work formed part of a £14.4m reshuffle, which also included a similar project to buy and refurbish Sir Henry Mitchell House, next door to Margaret McMillan Tower, to create a new home for Children's Specialist Services.

More than 500 staff were transferred there last year from Shipley Town Hall, as well as the town’s Owlet Road and Aire Building offices and Flockton House in Bowling, Bradford.

Flockton House has since been demolished and the site is being sold off for housing.

Bradford Council is now eight years into a ten-year plan to reduce the number of offices it works from and slash a £90 million maintenance backlog.

By April 2016, the authority expects to have vacated more than 65 properties, cut its office floorspace by a fifth, saved £21.6 million in running costs and cut the maintenance backlog by £50 million.

Margaret McMillan Tower is named after Margaret McMillan, the social reformer whose campaigning in Bradford in the late 19th century led to the introduction of school meals. She also wrote several books on nursery education and pioneered a play-centred approach to learning.