More than 900 government roles relocated from London to Glasgow since 2020

Cabinet Office reveals senior positions in the fields of consultancy and counter-fraud are among those to have been moved north

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Senior government roles specialised in consultancy and anti-fraud programmes are among the 900-plus civil service jobs that have been moved from London to Scotland in the last two and a half years, the Cabinet Office has said.

The relocation of 933 roles since March 2020 takes the UK government nearly two-thirds of the way towards meeting its commitment to move 1,500 jobs to Scotland by 2025.

The target contributes to the Places for Growth strategy, under which ministers have said they will move 22,000 jobs out of London by 2030, as well as having 50% of senior civil servants based outside the capital.

There are now 30 senior UK government civil servants based in Glasgow – an increase of 1,400% up  under Places for Growth, the Cabinet Office said.

Notable contributors to the shifting of roles includes the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, which announced plans to boost its presence in East Kilbride by around a third, to 1,500, last year.

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Another is the Cabinet Office, which has beefed up what it calls its “second headquarters” in Glasgow. The department has committed to moving 500 jobs to the city by 2025.

Directors in the department’s counter-fraud function, consulting hub and debt management teams are among those who have already made the move north.

The Cabinet Office said the presence of senior roles in Scotland “signals the end of the era where staff who wanted to climb the ladder to senior level needed to move to London or nearby, or made the long commute from further afield”.

“Staff are now able to lead teams delivering exceptional public services while based anywhere in the UK,” they said.

In June, the department also announced plans to move a further 1,100 of its staff from London to Manchester in a push to expand its footprint outside the capital.

Announcing the figures on a visit to the Atlantic Square site ahead of chairing the inaugural Islands Forum in Orkney today, Zahawi said: “We want to drive growth right across the United Kingdom and moving civil service jobs out of London is crucial to delivering this. I am delighted to say that the Cabinet Office is leading the way with this work by ensuring we have key decision makers based in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

“It is imperative that we continue to build on this momentum and expand opportunities for people outside of London, giving them the chance to build successful careers right across the UK and bring diversity of thought and experience right to the very top of government.”

Last year, Zahawi’s predecessor Michael Gove said the UK government had “not made sufficient use” of Scottish talent, as he launched an advertising campaign to highlight jobs on offer.


Sam Trendall

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