New Manchester hub unveiled as Cabinet Office announces 1,100 more jobs to move from London

Hub will replace the Piccadilly Gate office, which will be demolished to build a new HS2 station
How the First Street offices will look. Photo: Cabinet Office

By Tevye Markson

16 Jun 2022

Thousands of civil servants will move to a new building in the centre of Manchester from 2025, the government’s efficiency minister has announced.

The First Street hub, which is less than ten minutes’ walk from train stations Deansgate and Manchester Oxford Road, will open in 2025 and host 2,500 civil servants.

More than 700 staff in the building will be officials who have already moved from London to Manchester. 

The Cabinet Office also announced an extra 1,100 roles civil service roles will from London to Manchester by 2025, some of which will be based at the First Street site.

The government has already relocated 700 roles across several departments to Manchester from the capital, and earmarked another 700 to move. The latest announcement brings the total number of civil service jobs moving from London to Manchester by 2025 to 2,500. 

The government has committed to move 22,000 civil service roles out of London by 2030 as part of its Places for Growth programme.

Departments moving roles to the First Street site will include the Cabinet Office, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Department for Education and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The First Street hub will provide a new home for civil servants currently based at the Piccadilly Gate office, which will be demolished to build a new HS2 station.

Government efficiency minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said the announcement “reaffirms" the government’s long-term commitment to Manchester.

“I am pleased that the government has secured them a new home with office working at its heart, which will bring tens of millions of pounds to the Greater Manchester economy,” Rees-Mogg added.

Moving staff to Manchester is expected to generate £31m in economic benefits for the city, due to increased footfall and spending by staff, according to the Cabinet Office.

The Government Property Agency signed a lease agreement on Tuesday with developer Ask Real Estate and joint venture partner The Richardson Family, for the 12,000 square metre site on First Street.

The site is part of the Government Hubs Programme, which will set up around 50 new regional hubs by 2030. The programme is part of plans to reduce the number of government-owned office buildings from 800 to under 200 by 2030, with hundreds of smaller offices earmarked for closure.

Clive Anderson, the GPA’s director of capital projects, said the programme will help to support the government’s ambition to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 by providing smaller, better and greener estate.

“The hubs create modern, inclusive environments where departments can be collocated in shared buildings across the UK,” he said.

“This supports the government’s levelling up agenda and Places for Growth initiative, encouraging the movement and creation of jobs outside London.”

The Manchester site will be designed to be “class-leading”, meeting inclusive and accessible design standards, the Cabinet Office added.

 

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