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Office move: Savings from DFID's relocation to Whitehall

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

DFID’s London headquarters move to Whitehall is completed on time and under budget, saving £60m of taxpayers’ money.

The Department for International Development’s London headquarters move to Whitehall is completed on time and under budget, saving £60m of taxpayers’ money.

The Department for International Development’s move to offices on Whitehall - which will save taxpayers’ millions in expensive rent and overheads - has now been completed on time and more than £1 million under budget, the Minister of State for International Development announced today.

The relocation of DFID from rented offices next to Buckingham Palace to an unused government freehold at 22 Whitehall will save £62.5 million in rent and rates by 2020. The move also heralds a new, more business-like approach from the department, with more efficient use of office space and flexible working practices saving even more money in the longer term.

The historic building at 22 Whitehall has been empty since its previous occupants, the Cabinet Office, moved out. DFID’s approach to using the space there - including through ‘hot-desking’ and flexible working - means it will be used more intensively than ever before. Meanwhile Wifi internet access and videoconferencing facilities will reduce unnecessary and costly journeys to external meetings.

Minister of State for International Development, Alan Duncan, said:

The decision to move DFID from expensive rented offices next to Buckingham Palace to a smaller, government-owned building will save taxpayers £62.5 million by 2020. The move is now complete and, by driving the best deal and managing the project tightly, we have saved more than £1 million on the original estimated costs of relocation.

The efficient use of space and modern approach to flexible working practices in the new DFID offices at 22 Whitehall extend throughout the department, with a decision taken by the department’s Ministers and the Permanent Secretary to sit closer to their teams.

The money-saving move was achieved following a deal which enabled an early release from the leasehold on 1 Palace Street, and is part of the Government’s wider policy of rationalising its property estate. This includes disposing of unnecessary and expensive leasehold properties and making better use of its freehold buildings.