Whitehall saves £1.2bn in property costs

12 Jun 14
The government has saved more than £1.2bn since 2010 by reducing the size of the public sector estate, according to Cabinet Office figures published today.

By Richard Johnstone | 12 June 2014

The government has saved more than £1.2bn since 2010 by reducing the size of the public sector estate, according to Cabinet Office figures published today.

The latest State of the estate report found two million square metres of property had been vacated between May 2010, when the coalition came to power, and March 2012.

Publishing the figures, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said further savings have been made since then as the government seeks to make more efficient use of its property.

For example, the report highlighted that the One Public Estate Programme, funded by Cabinet Office and delivered with the Local Government Association to rationalise land and property use across the public sector, had saved £21m and generated £88m in capital receipts across 12 pilots in 2013. The programme is now set to expand to 15 more areas.

According to the latest figures for 2012/13, £240m was saved on running costs in the year, and there was a 7.6% reduction in the cost of office space per employee.

‘As part of our long-term economic plan this government is shrinking its estate, getting out of land 26 times the size of Buckingham Palace over the last four years,’ Maude said.

‘We are on the side of hard-working people so I’m pleased we saved taxpayers a cumulative £1.2bn between the last general election and March 2013 by getting out of or selling unnecessary and under-used properties.’

 

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