HS2 is progressing through the north of England and will require new hubs to see out the project’s operations. The proposed Manchester hub will be situated in First Street, which is expected to host 2,500 civils servants from 2025. Plans for the landmark building will lead to the relocation of these workers, bringing expertise from those currently based in the Piccadilly Gate office. Piccadilly Gate will be demolished to build a new HS2 station at Piccadilly.
A lease agreement has been signed by the Government Property Agency (GPA) with developer Ask Real Estate and its joint venture partner, The Richardson Family, for a c.12,000sqm site in First Street.
The government has outlined plans for new roles across the nation through their Places for Growth programme, which is encouraging 22,000 civil servants to be moved out of London by 2030. Currently, there have been more than 700 government department roles relocated to Manchester, with plenty more to come.
Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency Jacob Rees-Mogg said:
"The First Street development reaffirms Her Majesty’s Government’s long-term commitment to Manchester.
"The Places for Growth programme is delivering high quality government jobs across the whole country and ensuring that Whitehall can take advantage of the wisdom and experience from people all over the United Kingdom.
"This new site will provide a home for civil servants from at least four different government departments, making it one of the largest hubs for cross-government collaboration and operation outside London.
"By the time this site opens in 2025, 2,500 civil servants will have been relocated from Greater London to Manchester. I am pleased that the government has secured them a new home with office working at its heart, which will bring tens of millions of pounds to the Greater Manchester economy."
The departments that that will see moving roles include the Cabinet Office, Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, Department for Education and Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. The Places for Growth programme will aim to complete these moves by 2025.
Clive Anderson, GPA’s director of capital projects, said:
"The Government Hubs and Whitehall Campus Programme will provide a smaller, better and greener estate which supports the Government’s ambition to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
"The hubs create modern, inclusive environments where departments can be collocated in shared buildings across the UK. This supports the Government’s Levelling Up agenda and Places for Growth initiative, encouraging the movement and creation of jobs outside London."
The government have said the move of Civil Service roles to Manchester is expected to generate £31m in economic benefits for the city, down to increased footfall and spending from staff.
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