The Home Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) are to share central London headquarters as part of a continuing drive to reduce costs and increase efficiency across Whitehall.
The move, scheduled to take place in mid-2014, will see DCLG leave Eland House and take up spare office space at 2 Marsham Street. The move will help reduce the cost of the civil estate by £24 million annually.
The current costs of running Eland House are £20 million per annum and the move will save DCLG £8 million. Approximately 1,200 DCLG staff (down 37% from 2,200) and 100 arms length body staff will move to 2 Marsham Street.
The announcement is part of the reshaping of the Home Office, including the splitting up of the UK Border Agency announced by the Home Secretary last month, to more clearly focus resources on priorities.
Helen Kilpatrick, Director-General of Finance and Corporate Services at the Home Office, said:
As budgets continue to tighten we want to target resources where they are needed most. And we want to set a strong example right at the centre.
This is not just about saving money. The move provides us with a great opportunity to place the Home Office at the forefront of civil service reform, developing ways of working flexibly and sharing resources and knowledge across departments.
Minister for Local Government Brandon Lewis said:
At DCLG we believe in making sure taxpayers get value for money. By sharing services and streamlining our property portfolio this move will allow us to continue practising what we preach.
Sue Higgins, Director-General of Finance and Corporate Services at DCLG, said:
The move to Marsham Street will save £8 million per year. The department is continually looking at ways to provide greater value for money to the taxpayer. Our aim is to use our resources - people, public money and property assets - as efficiently and creatively as possible to deliver real change. Now that the department workforce is 37% less, we don’t need as much space so it makes sense to find more suitable accommodation.
High quality service
With staff reductions, the move of the Government Equalities Office from the Home Office to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and the closure of the National Police Improvement Agency, 2 Marsham Street is no longer being used to its full capacity.
Detailed plans are still in development but the move of DCLG will ensure both departments are able to provide high quality services to the public while keeping costs to a minimum and providing value for money for the taxpayer.