Department of Health: Buildings

Department of Health written question – answered on 30th June 2015.

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Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Shadow Minister (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, 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 office space; and if he will place in the Library a copy of his most recent departmental real estate valuation.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The proportion of office space owned or leased by the Department and not in regular use is 0.66%. Rental information is commercially sensitive and would adversely affect Her Majesty’s Governments future ability to negotiate efficiencies and achieve value for money to the taxpayer. As this is a leasehold property, we do not have the retail value of the office space.

The Department has not undertaken a recent valuation of its real estate.

On 31 March 2014, only 2.4% (204,327 sq m) of space was vacant across the mandated Civil Estate, compared with the national private and public sector average of 8.8%

The Department continues to review its estate in order to reduce costs. The Department has adopted a policy of co-locating with other organisations and most of the buildings it is responsible for contain a number of our arm’s length bodies. It also looks to reduce property costs by exiting leasehold agreements, or by sub-letting to external tenants.

The Department has contributed to the Government’s Strategic Land and Property Review. Departments have already committed to reforms expected to release land worth £3.5 billion between 2015 and 2020, with a further £1.5 billion expected to be identified following the outcome of operational reviews. This was updated at Autumn Statement, with a new ambition of £5 - 6 billion.

The Government Property Unit has created a portal - Find Me Some Government Space (https://www.gov.uk/find-government-property) - for more efficient marketing of surplus land and buildings. This is searchable by developers, community groups and the general public.

Further information on the efficiency and sustainability of property in the government's civil estate is published in our State of the Estate Report 2013 - 2014 available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/state-of-the-estate-2014

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