The government’s new office hub in Canary Wharf has been formally opened today, with staff from departments including HM Revenue and Customs, the Ministry of Justice and regulators including Ofgem moving into the building in London’s financial district.
The hub at 10 South Colonnade forms part of the Government Estates Strategy, which has set out plans to reduce the number of government buildings from 800 to 200 by 2030, to save an estimated £2.5bn in running costs over 20 years.
The Estates Strategy, which could lead to “thousands” of public servants out of London by 2030, includes plans for as many as 20 hubs. HMRC has led the development of the programme so far, moving staff from 170 offices into 14 hubs. There will also be a network of local mini hubs around the country.
Opening the new building, Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden said that “it’s great to see public and private sector staff rubbing shoulders here in Canary Wharf”.
He added: “This hub is one of 14 across the country already announced, which will use cutting-edge design and innovative technology to deliver smarter public services that reduce vacant space across the government estate.
“The government has saved £300m per year in running costs, through the disposal of over a thousand properties since 2014. By the end of this parliament, we will have established a network of around 20 multi-agency government hubs across the UK that utilise efficient smarter working practices and are accessible to the communities they serve.”
The Canary Wharf hub is fully occupied as it formally opens, with tenants also including the Pensions Ombudsman and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
HMRC is the largest occupier of the government hub, with 2,000 people based in the building, which was previously used by Barclays bank.
Steven Boyd, the tax agency's estates director, said: “I am pleased that HMRC is delivering phase 1 of the Government Hubs Programme, including being commissioned to deliver the Canary Wharf Hub for the Government Property Agency.
“More than 2,000 of our London-based people are already benefitting from the facilities the hub has to offer; including modern, flexible workspaces with great IT and excellent transport links. Bringing our teams from across London together in Canary Wharf is already showing the benefits of collaboration and modern ways of working.”