MHCLG considers setting up Wolverhampton base

Ministers would be expected to spend part of the week at the West Midlands outpost if plans go ahead
Photo: 70023venus2009/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is reportedly considering opening a regional office in Wolverhampton.

The plans being considered by housing secretary Robert Jenrick to move a proportion of the department to the West Midlands are part of the government’s ongoing efforts to move more civil servants out of London.

Jenrick recently said people would be “just as likely” to find him in the Black Country city as in Whitehall if the plans go ahead, according to the Telegraph.

The newspaper said ministers and senior officials would be expected to spend some of each week at the regional office.

Recent commentary on the government’s “levelling-up” agenda has stressed than any relocation of civil service office must include the relocation of senior roles outside the capital.

The Telegraph story comes two and a half years after Civil Service World reported that Wolverhampton City Council had resolved to invest £13m in top-grade office space with the specific intention of attracting government jobs to the city.

Conservative West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said the news was “very encouraging”.

“I’ve been lobbying Robert Jenrick to make the case for the West Mids as part of MHCLG’s relocation – and it appears we may well have won the argument. Wolverhampton would be an excellent home and yet another sign of confidence in our region,” he said in a tweet.

Stuart Anderson, Conservative MP for the Wolverhampton South West constituency, said he was “delighted that the government is looking at setting up a base for one of its most influential departments in our great city”.

“This is a step in the right direction and, if approved, it could see up to a thousand jobs created for local people and it would be a massive boost to the area as we look to recover from coronavirus,” he said.

“I will continue to engage with government ministers on these plans.”

MHCLG had not responded to CSW's request for comment  at the time of publication.

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