- New hub houses 20 government departments, with space for 1,700 employees
- Hub will house some of the 2,100 civil servant positions moving from London to the West Midlands by 2025, of which 880 have already moved
- Consolidating eight sites into one is expected to save £2m a year
A new government hub that can accommodate up to 1,700 civil servants has been hailed as an example of Leveling Up in action by helping to spread more jobs to the West Midlands, as it opened today (July 28).
Minister Rees-Mogg, responsible for Government Efficiency and Brexit Opportunities in the Cabinet Office, cut the ribbon on the building that will house 20 government departments and public bodies on nine newly renovated floors. The government teams were previously spread across eight different buildings, but consolidating them under one roof is expected to save taxpayers around £2million a year.
Civil service positions are being moved from London to Birmingham through the Places for Growth programme, which will move 22,000 positions out of the capital by 2030. The government has committed to move more than 2,100 functions in the West Midlands to Birmingham, Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent and Wolverhampton by 2025.
The new modern offices, built on the old site of the Theater Royal and Woolworths at 23 Stephenson Street, are part of the Government Property Agency’s strategy to consolidate and concentrate the number of public buildings in city centres.
Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency Jacob Rees-Mogg said:
The new Government Property Agency hub that I have opened in Birmingham today is a clear demonstration of Her Majesty’s Government’s commitment to the West Midlands.
This is good news for Birmingham businesses, who will benefit from increased visitor numbers in the city centre, as well as people from the surrounding area who will now have more opportunities to build successful careers in government.
This hub is an important part of our plans to create a leaner and more efficient public estate, which will save taxpayers’ money and serve the whole of the UK.
These jobs are expected to provide a significant boost to local businesses and enterprises, as government research has shown that workers return about 50% of their paychecks to the local economy.
Six thousand functions have already been relocated from the South East and the UK as part of plans to relocate 22,000 functions by 2030.
To date, 880 civil servant positions have been relocated to the West Midlands, many in the new hub. More than 400 positions in central government teams are now based in Birmingham, including teams in the Department for Transport, Cabinet Office and other departments.
Wolverhampton has also benefited from the relocation of approximately 200 positions to the Department for Leveling Up, Housing & Communities following the establishment of the department’s second headquarters in the city.
GPA Director of Capital Projects Clive Anderson said:
The Birmingham Hub represents another significant achievement for the GPA’s Government Hubs program and our ambition to provide great places to work in the UK.
The previously disused retail space has now been renovated into a modern, digitally connected and inclusive workspace for government officials with greater energy efficiency and smarter ways of working.
The sustainability of 23 Stephenson Street has been rated ‘Very Good’, with intelligent lighting and energy sources being used to power the offices. The repurposing of the building will help the government deliver on its promises to make the public estate carbon neutral in line with the government’s broader ambitions.