News story

MOD to sell iconic Whitehall property

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The MOD's Old War Office building in Whitehall is now surplus to requirements and is to be sold in order to invest in Defence priorities.

The Old War Office building in Whitehall, London [Picture: Allan House, Crown copyright]
The Old War Office building in Whitehall

The Old War Office was built in 1902 for the Imperial General Staff and was central to operations. The building was a focal point for military planning throughout the major conflicts of the 20th century, housing numerous secretaries of state, including Sir Winston Churchill.

The building will go on open market sale shortly following the appointment of suitable professional agents and is expected to attract significant interest from developers.

In 2014 MOD staff will move out of the Old War Office and all operations will transfer into MOD’s Main Building. This is part of the MOD-led drive to operate a more efficient estate.

Bringing MOD teams together into one building will save the taxpayer around £8 million a year in running costs and will also enable closer working and collaboration within the department. The sale also contributes to the wider Cabinet Office drive to operate a more efficient government estate, which has already helped departments to raise £1 billion by selling buildings and land no longer needed.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:

As a result of our work to make MOD leaner, more professional and more efficient, we are able to concentrate defence officials in London in a single building and sell the Old War Office.

Bringing MOD teams together into one building will save the taxpayer around £8 million a year in running costs as well as generating a capital receipt. It will also enable closer working and collaboration within the department.

The disposal of the Old War Office follows the announcement of the sale of the military facility in Old Brompton Road, London. The capital receipt from these sales will be invested in Defence priorities.

Published 19 August 2013
Last updated 20 August 2013 + full page history
  1. Added the following passage "The sale also contributes to the wider Cabinet Office drive to operate a more efficient government estate, which has already helped departments to raise £1 billion by selling buildings and land no longer needed."
  2. First published.