Latest HMRC hub deal signed in Greater Manchester
Some 2,000 staff to move to Salford in 2022, with 2,500 more to follow in 2027
HM Revenue and Customs has signed a 25-year lease in Salford, Greater Manchester, for office space for 4,500 civil servants.
Some 2,000 staff will move in 2022 to the seven-storey development, at New Bailey, which will be one of the tax agency’s 13 new regional centres.
These regional centres are to replace around 170 offices being axed across the country.
HMRC is spearheading a wider government hubs programme being led by the Government Property Agency to reform use of government property and make savings. It aims to reduce the number of offices from 800 to 200 over the next five years.
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A second phase of the Greater Manchester development will be complete by 2027-8. In the interim, additional capacity will be retained at HMRC’s office Trinity Bridge House in Salford for around 2,500 workers.
HMRC’s workforce in the region has been dispersed across 24 offices.
The agency said the location at New Bailey was selected for its excellent transport links and digital infrastructure. Apart from saving money, the plan to consolidate office space aims to allow HMRC to invest more in modern technology to improve working conditions for staff and the service provided to users.
HMRC has said moving around 38,000 staff to 13 regional centres will save the taxpayer more than £300m by 2025.
Steven Boyd, HMRC estates director, said: “The New Bailey development will provide HMRC with a state-of-the-art facility fit for a modern tax authority. Signing the lease is a significant, long-term commitment to the Greater Manchester region.
“This is one of our final regional centres to be announced. Staff are already working from the first regional centre in Croydon and are discovering how the building supports significant improvements in ways of working and collaboration.
“All the regional centres will provide our staff with the quality, digital working environments needed to deliver a better service to the taxpayer.”
Oliver Dowden, minister for implementation at the Cabinet Office, said: “This is a vibrant modern city with high-levels of skilled graduates and a proud tradition of providing high-quality public sector services.
“The civil service is a great place to work and the new government hub means civil servants will have a high quality and modern working environment to continue to deliver the best services to the public. This continues to build on the work we are doing to ensure that our estate not only delivers value for the taxpayer but also acts as an enabler to the delivery of the government’s wider commitments.”
The centre is being developed by the English Cities Fund, a partnership made up of the Homes and Communities Agency, Muse Developments and Legal & General Property.
HMRC’s estate rationalisation has attracted criticism from MPs and unions over the impact on staff, services and local areas as thousands could be forced to relocate.
A Public Accounts Committee report in January warned that the tax agency’s Brexit workload could impact its transformation plans. The committee also criticised the length of the leases signed by HMRC for its regional centres, which it did not believe would deliver value for money.
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