The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Hancock's Half-hour - Pledges to Cut its Offices By 75%

05 February 2016 | Updated 01 January 1970

This week, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General Matt Hancock took a little time to reveal that the government has reduced the size of its estate by the equivalent of 336 football pitches since 2010. He has called on local authorities to increase transparency by publishing their own estate rationalisation data.

The minister was speaking at the Government Property 2016 Conference, where he launched the latest State of the Estate report outlining progress in consolidating and modernising the estate. The report shows that the government estate has shrunk by 2.4 million square metres since 2010 – a 22% reduction equivalent to 336 football pitches, 43 Shards, or more than the entire principality of Monaco. This means that the total central government estate has fallen below 5,000 holdings for the first time and could fit inside the area of West Finchley in London.

This has been achieved by selling underused property ranging from the historic Old War Office to an old bakery and lighthouse.



It was also formally announced that Blythe House, which is well known as the MI6 HQ in the award winning film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and a historic site with great commercial potential at the Liverpool Docks will be sold and put to better use.

This forms part of a Conservative plan to save over £2 billion over the next 10 years. Hancock also announced the government plans to reduce its total number of offices by 75% before 2023, moving from 800 to 200 offices.

Nowhere is this change more visible than in central London, where the report confirmed that the number of government offices has fallen from 181 in 2010 to just 54 today. The intention is to further reduce this number to around 20 buildings by 2025.

Matt Hancock said: "We’re determined to release property the government no longer needs and get out of expensive rentals that aren’t offering value for money. "Today’s report shows the progress we’ve made in creating a more modern and efficient estate, with £1.8 billion already saved for taxpayers. But there is still a lot more we can do. That’s why I’m calling on people across the country to get involved by challenging us through the Right to Contest scheme to release properties we’re not using efficiently enough."

The 'State of the Estate' report also shows that the size of the government estate fell by 300,000 square metres in the past year, with running costs also reduced by 9% (or £279 million) compared to the previous year; the space per government employee has reduced by 20% since 2010, making it more efficient than the UK private sector average of 10.7 square metres; carbon emissions have been cut by 22% since 2010, along with an 11% drop in water consumption and a 38% reduction in paper use.

Picture: The government estate is being kicked in to touch

Article written by Brian Shillibeer | Published 05 February 2016


Related Articles

Sinking Feeling Over Leisure Facilities

Leisure centres could fall into a state of disrepair and even be forced to close without urgent new investment from government, councils have warned. The Local...

 Read Full Article
Piccadilly Lights - LandSec's London Landmark Re-lit

London’s iconic Piccadilly Lights were switched back to life on October 26 after a nine month period of renovation. A spectacular display of colours, which were...

 Read Full Article
Buildings Of The Future - Time To Rethink The Bottom Line

The availability of measurement models that accurately reflect return-on-investment is often the biggest hurdle in the design, construction and maintenance of Buildings...

 Read Full Article
Squaring It With Qube

MRI Software has acquired Qube Global Software, a UK based provider of property and facilities management Solutions. The acquisition, according to MRI, extends the...

 Read Full Article
Jurassic Parks at Tower Top - 14 Rescued by Helicopter

Merlin Entertainments, the biggest ride and attraction company in the UK and with sites across the world, have suffered another embarrassment as 14 people including a...

 Read Full Article
Up and Down and Side to Side - First Multi Lift Unveiled

More than 160 years after the invention of the conventional elevator, Thyssen Krupp has unveiled the first functional multi-directional lift at a 246 metre tall test...

 Read Full Article
NOW That's What I Call Remote Working

London City Airport is to become the first UK airport to install a digital air traffic control tower – operational in 2019. The digital solution is a multi-million...

 Read Full Article
Cosmo Guardians Take Vacant Options

As pressure on private rental accommodation in the UK’s major cities forces up costs, young people are finding it impossible to combine their career hopes with...

 Read Full Article
A City That Never Sleeps - Longer London Hours

For the period January to December 2016, the UK region with the highest average actual weekly hours worked (for all workers) was London at 33.7 hours, followed by...

 Read Full Article
Are You Experienced?

BT has launched its first 'Customer Experience Lab' (in Dundee) to test new ways of supporting its 1.1 million business customers across the UK. Designed to...

 Read Full Article