The construction of the new UK Government Property Hub at Central Square in Cardiff officially started today and members of the development team and tenants marked the occasion with a ground breaking ceremony held on the site.
The launch marks the beginning of a two year construction project with the new 270,000 sq ft building due for completion in December 2019.
The UK Hub is the fourth building at Central Square and takes the overall space under construction to over 1 million square feet. The Central Square development is being spearheaded by local property development company Rightacres in partnership with Cardiff Council and funders Legal & General.
Bringing together the local development expertise of Rightacres, the progressive long term vision for the city of Cardiff Council, and long dated private capital of Legal & General, Central Square has been backed by an unbeatable partnership model.
Together, the public-private alliance has enabled this scheme to be unlocked, delivering real UK growth and helping to further transform Cardiff city centre.
The new building is being constructed on a site that has been derelict for over a decade and will form the backdrop to a new public square. The new BBC Head Quarters will also front the square.
The Cardiff Hub is part of the Government’s wider plans to build strong civil servant bases across the UK and will transform the Government’s estate by accommodating multi-departmental workforces in shared buildings delivering the tax payer savings.
Once constructed, the building will become home to more than 4,000 public servants from several UK Government departments. This includes HMRC, who will be the majority occupier and Central Square will become one of its 13 regional centres, and the Office for the Secretary of State for Wales. The project will also create over 400 construction jobs.
Ann Carter-Gray (Government Property Agency Programme Director) said:
Central Square will be part of a network of government hubs, transforming central government’s offices by accommodating many different departments in shared buildings in our capital cities and in the regions.
The hubs will be a catalyst for growth in city centres and surrounding areas, helping to boost jobs and economic growth and ensure the delivery of the best quality services to the public.
Glynne Jones, Director of the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales said:
We’re delighted to be part of the new Central Square development at the heart of Cardiff’s city centre. Today’s event marks the beginning of a process that will eventually see our colleagues come together in state-of-the art facilities, enabling closer working relationships between departments.
It also sends a clear message that the UK Government is visible, accessible and helping to improve people’s lives in Wales.
Steven Boyd, HMRC’s Estates Director said:
This is an important milestone in the delivery of the Government Hub in Cardiff, which will be the new home for HMRC in Wales. When it is built, the new building’s quality environment and high speed digital connectivity will allow our staff to work collaboratively with other teams enabling us to become a tax authority fit for the future.
We are working closely with stakeholders and look forward to playing a key role in the local community.
Paul McCarthy Chief Executive of Rightacres said:
Central Square is fast establishing itself as the prime destination for employers who want to offer their staff the very best in city centre, transport and leisure amenities. Businesses that have already moved into the Square are seeing improved output in productivity and finding it easier to recruit new talent.
Cllr Russell Goodway, Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Investment & Development said:
The decision to locate the new UK Government Hub at Central Square effectively confirms how right we as a Council were to take the decision to regenerate this part of the city. The speed of the development in Central Square is very encouraging and we look forward to further announcements on the Transport Interchange in the New Year.
Tom Roberts, Head of Strategic Investment and Regeneration at LGIM Real Assets said:
Today marks yet another critical milestone in the delivery of the Central Square project, which continues to transform Cardiff’s commercial landscape. We believe that this latest investment will make a meaningful impact to the regeneration of this area, helping to create social and economic growth.
At Legal & General we have a commitment to improving our built environment, investing in cities across the UK to bring about urban centres that are fit for purpose and that are better places to live and work.
Construction of phase one of the Central Square project commenced in 2014, with One Central Square completed in March 2016. Works are progressing on phases two and three of Rightacres’ and Legal & General’s scheme, which will include a new £120 million headquarters for BBC Cymru Wales, and are expected to be completed by mid-2018, offering a range of new local dining options and amenities for the influx of employees working in the area.
With a host of other blue chip tenants, including the UK Government, Central Square has been established as one of the most successful regeneration projects in the U.K.
In 2015, HMRC announced a ten-year transformation programme to create a tax authority fit for the future, committing to high-quality jobs and the creation of 13 new regional centres over the next five years, serving every nation and region in the UK.