Cabinet Office written question – answered on 12th February 2014.

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Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Shadow Minister (Health)

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office 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 Francis Maude Francis Maude The Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office

Since 2010 this Government has been working to rationalise its estate and dispose of unnecessary properties. We have got out of hundreds of properties, which were previously under-occupied or superfluous to needs. We now publish more details than ever before on how Departments are using their buildings. Our work to rationalise the Government's property estate resulted in the disposal of 401 buildings in 2012-13, saving the taxpayer £620 million last year alone.

Unoccupied property held by the Cabinet Office includes Admiralty Arch which will soon be handover to Prime Investors Capital (a lease on which was sold in 2012 for £60 million) and 36Whitehall which is being modernised.

The Government residual estate is now part of the Cabinet Office. Birch House in Bristol is office space that is currently empty with a rental value of £60,000 per annum. The Government Property Unit (part of the Cabinet Office) is working to dispose of this and other unnecessary properties. The remainder of the Cabinet Office estate is in regular use.

Information about property valuations for the Cabinet Office's Land and Buildings, which have been audited by the National Audit Office, are contained in the Cabinet Office annual report and accounts 2012-13, available from the Libraries in the House and publicly on line via

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