Department for International Trade moves into permanent Whitehall home

Liam Fox's staff start work in offices formerly occupied by DECC – and 007

By Matt Foster

27 Feb 2017

Seven months after it was set up as part of Theresa May's big Whitehall rejig, staff at the Department for International Trade have moved into their permanent home.

Since July last year, the DIT – which has been tasked with drawing up a new trade and investment policy for Britain, and forging new deals with the rest of the world once once Britain quits the EU – has been based in both the Foreign Office and the Victoria Street home of the Department for Business.

But international trade secretary Liam Fox announced on Monday that some 1,200 staff would be moving into dedicated offices at 3 Whitehall Place and 55 Whitehall place, sites formerly occupied by the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

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Former DECC staff are switching to Victoria Street as part of that department's merger with BIS. The roof of 55 Whitehall is also a popular filming location, providing London skyline shots in hits including James Bond film Skyfall and the BBC TV series Sherlock.

Officially opening the new department's home on Monday, Fox said the decision to set up the DIT had been "a clear sign of the UK’s desire to be more internationally engaged than ever before".

He added: “We want to create a Global Britain and, we are expanding our trade policy capability rapidly. 

"I’m delighted to welcome my staff to our new premises on Whitehall and the Department will continue to hire the brightest and best talent.”

A spokesperson for the department told CSW that the 3 Whitehall Place and and 55 Whitehall sites are being occupied by the DIT's Trade Policy, International Trade & Investment, and Corporate Services teams. Futher expansion is also planned into a third office at 36 Whitehall, which sits next to Horseguards Parade, in the coming months.

Monday's official opening was also attended by DIT staff and the department's outgoing permanent Secretary, Sir Martin Donnelly, who is being succeeded by Antonia Romeo at the end of next month. The department is currently on the hunt for both a chief operating officer and second perm sec to work alongside Romeo.

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