Work and Pensions 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 Work and Pensions 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 Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

DWP does not own any buildings. The DWP estate was sold (freehold, feuhold and long leasehold interests) or transferred (short leasehold interests) to Telereal Trillium under a PFI contract known as "PRIME" in 1998 and further in 2003.

The proportion of leasehold space which is not in regular use is 0.7% of the total DWP estate-mainly as a consequence of other Government Departments as 'sub-tenants' vacating space for which DWP has no immediate use. All such space is registered on the Government Property Unit's database e-PIMS.

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.

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