The UK Government has announced the location of a civil service hub at the New Waverley development in Edinburgh, which it says “will deliver significant growth to the city by moving 2,900 civil servants into the city centre premises in 2020”. It will occupy 190,000 square feet of office space, with a lease commitment of at least 20 years. The hub will continue to strengthen the Government’s commitment to building a strong civil service outside London, it said in a statement.
The new development, adjacent to Waverley Station, will deliver grade A offices to be occupied by civil servants from several UK Government departments, including HMRC who will operate one of its 13 regional centres from New Waverley. Relocating civil servants from existing, often fragmented office locations, to modern, cross-departmental workplaces will increase efficiency and encourage collaboration across departments, it said. The location was chosen “due to its exceptional public transport connections to the rest of Scotland and the UK”.
Caroline Nokes, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Cabinet Office, said: “This new flagship building is part of our radical upgrade of the civil service and will support our diverse and creative workforce as they make a real difference to the lives of people in Scotland. This landmark development will deliver significant benefits to Edinburgh and the communities within it. Alongside significant savings for the taxpayer, the roll out of government hubs will provide modern working environments across the whole of the UK that will enable us to provide the best public services we can.
HMRC Chief Executive, Jon Thompson, added: “Locating HMRC’s new regional centre for Edinburgh in the New Waverley development is another step in HMRC’s transformation, into a modern, digitally-advanced tax authority. HMRC will bring its teams together to promote closer working relationships, and increasing our effectiveness in collecting taxes.”
The Government said the hub will:
- contribute to the creation of a modern civil service – with fit-for-purpose workspaces, cross-departmental collaboration, smarter technology, and enhanced career opportunities;
- demonstrate the government’s commitment to engaging with and supporting the local Edinburgh community;
- contribute to growth in Edinburgh, as the largest office prelet in the city for over 20 years;
- create a centre of excellence for the delivery of public services in Scotland and facilitate more effective working between government departments within a devolved administration.