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Government Departments: Buildings

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 20th January 2016.

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Photo of Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether underused government buildings in Westminster such as the Lancaster House conference centre and the Foreign Secretary’s official residence are being considered for sale to private buyers, and if not, why not.

Photo of Lord Bridges of Headley Lord Bridges of Headley The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

This government is committed to rationalising and reducing the government estate to realise efficiencies and release value. By identifying underused properties and modernising our buildings to make better use of a smaller number of properties, we have reduced our Estate by 2 million square metres, saving over £750 million in running costs and generating nearly £1.8 billion in capital receipts since 2010.

Both Lancaster House and 1 Carlton Gardens are properties leased by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office from the Crown Estate. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office is therefore not in a position to sell either property. Both properties are in regular use for either conferences, meetings or official hospitality.

All Foreign and Commonwealth Office properties are under regular review to ensure value for money.

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