DCLG and Home Office property share ‘will save £24m’
By Richard Johnstone | 5 April 2013
The Department for Communities and Local Government is to leave its Eland House headquarters to share office space with the Home Office, in a move expected to save £24m a year.
The department’s 1,200 staff, along with around 100 who work for arm’s-length bodies, will move into the Home Office’s 2 Marsham Street property in 2014, it was announced yesterday.
Around 1,000 staff have left the DCLG since 2010, and it can now occupy empty space in Marsham Street. This has been used below capacity following staff reductions, the closure of the National Policing Improvement Agency and the move of the Government Equalities Office to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Detailed costs of the switch have still to be determined. The DCLG said it would keep these to a minimum to ensure value for money for the taxpayer.
Sue Higgins, DCLG director general of finance and corporate services, said the move from Eland House, which is leased and costs £20m a year to run, would save the department itself £8m annually.
‘The department is continually looking at ways to provide greater value for money to the taxpayer. Our aim is to use our resources – people, public money and property assets – as efficiently and creatively as possible to deliver real change,’ she added.
‘Now that the department workforce is 37% less, we don’t need as much space so it makes sense to find more suitable accommodation.’
Helen Kilpatrick, director general of finance and corporate services at the Home Office, added that the move ‘provides us with a great opportunity to place the Home Office at the forefront of civil service reform’. The agreement would also help share resources and knowledge across departments, she said.
The DCLG move is the latest in a series of government property changes. The Cabinet Office revealed last month that sales of property and land have raised more than £1bn since the coalition came to power in May 2010.