HM Revenue & Customs reveals new Croydon base
2,500 staff set to relocate to town-centre office block from summer 2017
HM Revenue & Customs has agreed a 25-year lease on part of the Ruskin Square development in Croydon that will form one of 13 new regional centres for the department.
Around 2,500 staff are set to relocate to the currently under-construction south London development's "Building 1", starting from next summer, however confirmation of the move and numbers of employees involved has prompted new questions among some staffers.
Last year HMRC outlined its aim to consolidate its operations from 170 offices to just 13 hubs, with plans to create new offices in Croydon and east London, and to reduce staff numbers at its main 100 Parliament Street base in Westminster.
One HMRC insider told Civil Service World that the Croydon base would host fewer staff than colleagues had expected, prompting fears that a greater reliance on shift-work would be required or that more travelling between the new hub proposed for Stratford would result.
“Currently everybody feels they have to be in 100 Parliament Street or they're a nobody, so it's crammed full and is completely dysfunctional,” they said. “If Croydon becomes like that with Stratford the poor relation, it's easy to see people having to repeatedly travel between Croydon and Stratford simply because they're not important enough to work in Croydon.”
Developers Stanhope and Schroders said HMRC had signed up for all of the nine-storey building, which is next to East Croydon Station, except for two ground-floor retail retail units. However, it indicated that more business floorspace would be potentially available to HMRC as part of future phases of the Ruskin Square development.
HMRC chief executive Jon Thompson said moving into a state-of-the-art building was an important step for the agency to become a "digitally-advanced" tax authority.
"By bringing various teams across HMRC together and investing in skills, career development, sophisticated IT and data analytics, we will increase our effectiveness in providing modern customer services and cracking down on tax cheats," he said.
"We are delighted to have agreed terms for the Ruskin Square building; this is the beginning of a process that will make HMRC an important contributor to the economy and to communities in and around Croydon.”
Staff moving to the new base will include specialist teams working on debt management, fraud and criminal investigations and tax compliance.
HMRC already has around 600 staff based in Croydon who will move to the new building.
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