Government vacates 2 million square metres of property

The latest State of the Estate Report shows that the government’s estate rationalisation strategy is continuing to deliver savings for taxpayers and foster economic growth.

The government has reduced the size of its estate by 2 million square metres – the equivalent of 26 times the size of Buckingham Palace – boosting economic growth and saving a cumulative £1.2 billion (up to March 2013) for the taxpayer since 2010. Further savings have been achieved since then. The announcement by Minister for Cabinet Office Francis Maude comes as the government launches the 2013 State of the Estate (SOFTE) report.

Read the 2013 State of the Estate report and see previous annualState of the Estate reports.

Now in its third year, the report outlines how consolidating and modernising its estate is making the government more efficient than ever. The report shows that since 2010 the equivalent of 2 million square metres has been freed up. Iconic landmarks in Britain could fill this space many times over, including Buckingham Palace (26 times over), the Shard (18 times over) and the Royal Liver Building (36 times over).

The report also shows that in 2013:

  • there was a 500,000 sq m reduction in the size of the estate
  • £240 million was saved on running costs, against a 2009 to 2010 baseline
  • there was a 7.6% reduction in the cost of office space per employee
  • office space per employee was down from 13 square metres to 11.9 square metres
  • carbon emissions were down by 14%
  • waste produced was down by 15%

Francis Maude said:

As part of our long-term economic plan this government is shrinking its estate, getting out of land 26 times the size of Buckingham Palace over the last 4 years.

We are on the side of hard-working people so I’m pleased we saved taxpayers a cumulative £1.2 billion between the last general election and March 2013 by getting out of or selling unnecessary and under-used properties.

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