One of Huntingdon’s biggest employers is moving out of the town centre and its headquarters could make way for housing.

Anglian Water is currently moving its 296 staff from Anglian House, in Ambury Road South, to a new head office in Lancaster House, in Ermine Business Park, opposite its other offices.

The company believes moving to a more modern and efficient building will save around £600,000 a year in operating costs and reduce its carbon emissions by up to 15 per cent.

A spokesman said: “Huntingdon sits at the heart of our region. Many of our staff live in or close to the town and we want to keep it that way. This move brings a currently empty building on the Ermine Business Park back into use, and frees up a prime location in the centre of the town.”

Luminus, also based in Huntingdon, has announced its intention to acquire the site, thought to be for housing rather than relocating its own headquarters. A spokesman said: “Working in partnership with Anglian Water, which provides essential services to our communities, as we do, we are in the process of acquiring the site.

“Our priority is to provide affordable homes and, once we have clarity about the strategy for this site, we will make sure everyone knows. We are not relocating our HQ.”

Jon Kerby, vice chairman of BID Huntingdon, said: “Obviously it is always disappointing when a business leaves the BID area for whatever reason but it is positive that Anglian Water is staying in Huntingdon, and saving jobs in the process. It speaks volumes about how Huntingdon is attractive for businesses.

“It could affect town centre businesses but footfall reports show the town is doing well at the moment and I don't think it will affect them that much.”

He added: “If it is housing, then I think they will all get snapped up quickly as Huntingdon is going through a lot of changes and will become more desirable.”

Huntingdonshire District Council is aware of the sale, but said no plans for the site had been submitted.