The Government has announced that thousands of civil servants will move to a new building in the heart of Manchester from 2025.
The Government Property Agency (GPA) has signed a lease agreement with developer Ask Real Estate and its JV partner, the Richardson Family, for a 129,000 sq ft site on First Street.
Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg welcomed the work on the new site, which he said underlines the government's commitment to Levelling Up.
The hub will host some 2,500 civil servants, including more than 700 roles which will be relocated from London to Manchester.
Under the government's Places for Growth programme, 22,000 civil service roles will be moved out of London by 2030. More than 700 roles across a number of government departments have already been relocated to Manchester. By 2025, the Places for Growth programme will relocate more than 2,500 civil service roles from Greater London to Manchester.
Departments moving roles include the cabinet office, department for digital, culture, media & sport, department for education and department for business, energy & industrial strategy.
The move of civil service roles to Manchester is expected to generate £31m in economic benefits for the city, down to increased footfall and spending from staff.
Minister for Brexit opportunities and government efficiency Jacob Rees-Mogg said: "The First Street development reaffirms Her Majesty's Government's long-term commitment to Manchester. The Places for Growth programme is delivering high quality government jobs across the whole country, and ensuring that Whitehall can take advantage of the wisdom and experience from people all over the United Kingdom.
"This new site will provide a home for civil servants from at least four different government departments, making it one of the largest hubs for cross-government collaboration and operation outside London.
"By the time this site opens in 2025, 2,500 civil servants will have been relocated from Greater London to Manchester. I am pleased that the government has secured them a new home with office working at its heart, which will bring tens of millions of pounds to the Greater Manchester economy."
John Hughes, Managing Director at Ask Real Estate said:
“Attracting the GPA to the estate, further establishes First Street as one of the most sought after business destinations in the region. We have worked over a number of years to create a community and a neighbourhood with aspiring amenity and established talent. This news will enable us to realise and progress our ambition to accommodate 10,000 jobs by 2028 and create a sustainable urban campus.
With Manchester’s target to be a zero-carbon city by 2038, sustainability and wellbeing have been firmly considered and embedded into the design at the forefront of plans. The vision of the scheme was to deliver an office building that can be net zero carbon in operation, and this building will do exactly that. The scheme will be delivered to achieve a Design for Performance NABERS rating of 5.5 stars making it the most sustainable building in operation in Manchester City Centre.
We felt our next building on the estate, in particular the scheme’s green credentials, would be the perfect fit for the GPA with the Government’s sustainability drive, and we’re looking forward to welcoming them to the First Street estate.”
As well as delivering taxpayer savings through a reduction in supporting services and existing office costs by consolidating buildings, the programme will act as a catalyst for regional growth and ensure the delivery of the best quality service to the public.
The Manchester First Street Hub is in the heart of Manchester and only a few minutes walk from Oxford Road and Deansgate stations. The hub will be designed to be class-leading, meeting inclusive and accessible design standards.