Government Departments: Buildings

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 11th June 2018.

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Photo of Laura Smith Laura Smith Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the Government's Estate Strategy of October 2014 on localism.

Photo of Oliver Dowden Oliver Dowden The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

The 2014 Government Estate Strategy (which can be found here; https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/360262/Government_estate_strategy.pdf) represented a leap in the scale of our ambition - with commitments that recognised the potential of our estate to become a platform to deliver better integrated public services and economic growth across the UK. As an example, the One Public Estate (OPE) programme, which brings together all public sector bodies within a locality to develop a radical new approach to managing their land and property. OPE has grown from a pilot working with 32 councils in 2014 to a national programme supporting 319 councils - over 90% of councils in England - to deliver better integrated, customer-focused services, local growth and efficiencies.

To date, these partnerships have secured £94m in capital receipts, £20m savings in running costs, over 5,700 jobs and releasing land for 2,800 homes. We have also facilitated over 80 public sector co-locations, responding to local demands to bring services together under one roof.

Recognising the need to boost local economies further, the Government also remains committed to relocating public bodies and Civil Service roles out of London across the United Kingdom. As such, the Cabinet Office has established the Places for Growth programme. This aims to drive the delivery of our commitment to move arm’s length bodies and some departmental activities outside of London and the South East to help promote growth in the regions and nations of the UK.

The 2018 Government Estate Strategy, due for publication later this year, will continue to ensure our policies drive growth and opportunity across the UK and provide a Government Estate that works for everyone.

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