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UK Government Could Ditch 7M SF Of Offices

Houses of Parliament in London

The UK government could exit as much as 25% of the office space it occupies as the result of a switch to hybrid working and a drive for sustainability.

Surveys of government staff and the way they work indicate that it could get rid of a quarter of the 27M SF of offices it occupies around the country, Government Property Agency Chief Executive Steven Boyd told Property Week. That would equate to it exiting leases or selling freeholds totalling almost 7M SF.

“We anticipate that will mean we’ll need at least 25% less space than we needed before,” Boyd said. “Reducing our space by 25% or thereabouts means that we’re using less energy, and we’ll probably be able to work more effectively, too, because you’re getting the benefits of hybrid working.”

The Government Property Agency manages 9.4M SF of the offices the government occupies, about a third, but Boyd told Property Week the review of space needs covers the entirety of the government’s office portfolio. 

The portfolio reshaping is already well underway, with the GPA signing leases for new office buildings around the country to create regional hubs, with some staff having been relocated from Whitehall and some from other regional offices.

In Birmingham, 1,700 civil servants from 20 departments work in a 10K SF office building.