The Financial Times reports(£) that the Department for Communities and Local Government are to move out of their current offices Eland House and squeeze in with the Home Office to save money. As the workforce at the DCLG has already been halved less space is needed – although already they have sublet floors to tenants including the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the High Speed 2 rail project.
The FT says:
Senior mandarins are still negotiating over the price that the Home Office will charge to sublet space in its large building on 2 Marsham Street, just off Horseferry Road in Westminster.
The move is expected to take place within the next year, meaning that the communities department will probably have to pay its private landlord a “break fee” to end its lease prematurely.
However, the ministry expects to make considerable savings in the long term as it will take up less space in its new home.
Eland House in Victoria opened in 1997 to house the DETR) is far too big for the streamlined DCLG. Compared to 1997, Eland House is now prime real estate – with Cardinal Place opposite and the full-scale redevelopment around Victoria Station.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is practising what he preaches to local government. Better use of property management is item 16 in 50 ways to save.
Not that Mr Pickles is alone. Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, has reports the FT "now saved the taxpayer a cumulative £1bn through sales, re-lettings and more efficient use of office space."
The Old War Office building in Whitehall could raise £100 million and will probably be converted into a hotel. Admiralty Arch has already been sold for £60 million. There are negotiations to shift the transport
department into either the Home Office or the Ministry of Defence.