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Government property strategy cuts £ms in costs

10 March 2011

The Government has cut £48m from property costs by freezing new property purchases, leases and lease renewals. Government bodies have now vacated 147 properties.

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, has today set out progress on the Government’s property strategy, which is designed to save money by ensuring office space is used effectively and expensive property leases are reduced.
As part of this strategy, the Government has already reduced property related costs by £48m as a result of the lease moratorium introduced last year.
a new set of controls on government spending which are expected to save billions of pounds.
The Government has appointed a new advisory panel of property experts, chaired by Lord Carter of Coles, will provide expert advice to the Government when making key decisions on its property requirements and challenge the function of the Government Property Unit.
Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, said: "These savings are an excellent example of how across Whitehall we are driving down back office costs so we can protect important services on the front line. The moratorium on leases we introduced last year is working well and that is why just earlier this week I announced even tighter national property controls. Our drive for savings doesn’t stop there, the new advisory panel of property experts will help us identify areas were we can save money and ensure that no longer are millions of pounds squandered on expensive property leases and wasted office space."
Head of the Government Property Unit, John McCready said:
"This is a joint effort, and I am very grateful for the positive engagement from Whitehall departments on our efficiency programme. We are in it for the long term, and it is important we build strategies that deal with both the immediate priority of tackling the deficit, whilst safeguarding the interests of future generations. The wealth of expertise on our advisory panel will provide vital insights and challenge to those ideas we are currently developing, to ensure we are doing the right thing."
Examples of savings include:

  • The Crown Prosecution Service moved from Ludgate Hill to Rose Court in SE1 in June 2010, taking over 15,000sq m off the civil estate and delivering cost reductions of over £9m a year;
  • The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) moved from Market Towers in Nine Elms Lane to 151 Buckingham Palace Road in SW1, taking over 12,000sq m off the civil estate and delivering cost reductions of around £6m a year.
  • The Medical Research Council moving from 20 Park Crescent, W1B to CAA House at 1 Kemble Street taking over 6,400 sq m off the civil estate and delivering cost reductions of £1.1m a year.

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