Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 12th February 2014.

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Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Shadow Minister (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of the office space owned or leased by his Department is not in regular use; what the total (a) rental and (b) retail value is of all such unused office space; and if he will place in the Library a copy of his most recent departmental real estate valuation.

Photo of Jennifer Willott Jennifer Willott The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

The information requested is commercially sensitive and any disclosure would adversely affect HMG's future ability to negotiate efficiencies and achieve value for money to the taxpayer.

There is no system for classifying frequency of use of office space. Holdings are assessed as either being required to deliver departmental functions (forming the core estate) or surplus to this requirement (non-core).

The global office running cost figure for the central civil estate is in the region of £1.8 billion per annum. The Government's top priority for surplus holdings is to reduce property costs by exiting leasehold agreements, selling freeholds or by sub-letting to external tenants.

The Government Property Unit has created a portal—Find Me Some Government Space1—for more efficient marketing of surplus land and buildings. This is searchable by developers, community groups and the general public.

1 Available at:

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