Levelling up in action as new government hub moved from London opens in Birmingham

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Photo credit: UK Gov

A new government hub which can accommodate up to 1700 civil servants has been hailed as an example of Levelling Up in action by helping spread more jobs to the West Midlands, as it was opened today (28 July).

Minister Rees-Mogg, responsible for Government Efficiency and Brexit Opportunities in the Cabinet Office, cut the ribbon on the building which will house 20 government departments and public bodies across nine newly refurbished floors.

The government teams had previously been spread across eight different buildings, but consolidating them under one roof is expected to save the taxpayer around £2 million per year.

Civil Service roles are being relocated to Birmingham out of London via the Places for Growth programme, which will move 22,000 roles out of the capital by 2030. The government has committed to relocating more than 2,100 roles across the West Midlands by 2025 to Birmingham, Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent and Wolverhampton.

The new modern offices, built on the old site of the Theatre Royal and Woolworths at 23 Stephenson Street, form part of the Government Property Agency’s strategy to consolidate the number of public buildings and concentrate them in town and city centres.

Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency Jacob Rees-Mogg said:

The new Government Property Agency hub which 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 businesses in Birmingham, who will benefit from the increased footfall in the city centre, as well as for people from the area who will now have more opportunities to build a successful career 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 entire United Kingdom.

It is expected that these jobs will provide a significant boost for local business and enterprise, with government research having shown that workers put around 50% of their salaries back into the local economy.

Six thousand roles have already been moved out of the South East and across the UK as part of plans to relocate 22,000 roles by 2030.

So far 880 Civil Service roles have moved to the West Midlands, with many based in the new hub. More than 400 roles 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 around 200 roles at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities following the establishment of the department’s second HQ in the city.

GPA Director of Capital Projects Clive Anderson said:

The Birmingham Hub represents another significant achievement for the GPA’s Government Hubs Programme and our ambition to deliver great places to work across the UK.

The formerly disused retail space is now refurbished into a modern, digitally-connected and inclusive workspace for civil servants across government with greater energy efficiency and smarter ways of working.

The sustainability of 23 Stephenson Street has been rated ‘Very Good’, using intelligent lighting and energy sources 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 wider government ambitions.

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