The Government Property Unit was established in 2010 to shift power away from Whitehall, reduce the number of buildings in the Government Estate from 800 to 200 by 2023 and raise £5 billion from property sales by 2020. It aims to rethink the way the Civil Service works and utilises its property, taking advantage of technological advances to save money, improve collaboration and encourage staff to work more smartly.
As a result, the civil service will be centralised into 18-22 regional hubs, in strategic locations with transport connectivity, into buildings that are fit for purpose, with several departments sharing work space. For example, HMRC will consolidate 170 offices into 12 regional centres.
Thus, a major fit out of new office space is required over the next seven years with up to £1 billion of work available for the entire scheme. The Government has just named nine firms to carry out the projects, of various scales and complexities. The firms selected include large industry players such as Mace and Interserve, but also smaller firms such as the Shaylor Group and BW Interiors. The lots within the Framework were split into three, with Lot 1 for national projects over £25 million, Lot 2 for northern projects worth less than £25 million and Lot 3 being southern projects under £25 million. It is hoped that the reorganisation project as a whole will save £2.4 billion over the next decade.