Keys handed to Mundell
UK Government gets first ‘Cabinet Room’ in Edinburgh
Seat of power: the new offices will house 3,000 civil servants (pic: Terry Murden)
Britain’s new Prime Minister and Secretaries of State will have use of the first ever specially-built meeting room for the Cabinet in Edinburgh.
A new office development off the Royal Mile for 3,000 UK Government civil servants will include a Cabinet Room where Westminster ministers can meet during official visits.
It will be just a short walk from the Scottish Parliament and below the towering offices of Scottish Government civil servants in St Andrew’s House on Calton Hill.
UK departments to be located in the Edinburgh Hub include: HMRC, the Competition and Markets Authority, the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland, the Office of the Advocate General for Scotland, the Office for Statistics Regulation, the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Health and Safety Executive, the Office for Statistics Regulation, the Government Actuary’s Department and HM Treasury.
Keys to the 190,000 sq ft of offices over seven floors were handed over by developer Artisan Real Estate to Scottish Secretary David Mundell.
Due to open in Spring 2020 on a 25-year lease, the Hub aims to improve the work of the UK Government in Scotland. It will enable closer collaboration between departments, smarter working, and use of the latest technology.
Mr Mundell said: “The formal handover of the building’s keys is an important milestone, demonstrating we are making real progress towards opening the flagship building in the heart of Edinburgh next year.
“The building will bring together some 3,000 UK Government civil servants, helping them deliver high quality services for people across Scotland. I very much look forward to inviting the Cabinet to meet in the building once it is open for business.
The new hub is pictured below left in this view from Calton Hill (pic: Terry Murden)
“The Edinburgh Hub is a great example of the UK Government’s extensive support for the capital’s economy – which we are also driving through the ambitious Edinburgh and South East Scotland Growth Deal.”
Oliver Dowden, UK Government Minister for Implementation, said: “This flagship building for Edinburgh demonstrates our continued commitment to strengthening the Union: providing flexible, modern and connected workspaces which will enhance local career paths, boost jobs and economic growth.
“The UK Government hubs programme is providing great places to work for civil servants; encouraging innovation, excellence and collaboration that will enable us to provide the best public services we can – whilst delivering significant savings for the taxpayer.”
Working with the Government Property Agency (GPA), HMRC has been playing a leading role in delivering this programme for the UK Government, enabling closer working between UK Government departments.
Frazer Smith, HMRC director of estates, said: “This is a significant milestone for the UK Government in Scotland.”
The UK Government Hub is part of the New Waverley development delivered by Artisan Real Estate Investors. As well as the Hub, it includes three hotels, the Arches, shops and 150 homes, in a new quarter set round a public square. It is one of the UK’s most important city centre regeneration sites, located in the World Heritage Site of the Old Town. The area is also home to Edinburgh City Council and the British Council.
Artisan worked with construction partner McAleer & Rushe and designer Allan Murray Architects to deliver the Hub ahead of time and on budget.
Work is also under way on a first Glasgow Hub, with a second one to follow. Across the UK it is estimated that the Hubs programme will save more than £2 billion of public money over 20 years, relocating civil servants from existing, often fragmented office locations, to modern, cross-departmental workplaces.