Government high-tech hub in Birmingham garlanded as one of world’s leading workplaces

Written by Tevye Markson on 28 March 2023 in News

Government Property Agency facility is the most highly rated public-sector office in the world

Collaborative working space at the Birmingham hub    Credit: GPA

A high-tech Birmingham office housing 20 government departments and agencies has been rated as offering the best public sector employee workplace experience in the world.

The Government Property Agency hub in England’s second city was refurbished from disused retail space to create what it describes as “modern, digitally-connected and inclusive workspaces”. It houses 1,700 staff from across 20 government bodies.  Officials began working in the building from July 2021, with the site officially opened in July 2022. Its creation has enabled “rationalisation” savings of £2m per year, according to the GPA.

On top of which, the location has been awarded a globally recognised certification after receiving a score of 76 out of 100 from office surveyor firm Leesman. This places the hub as the top employee workplace experience in the UK’s public sector and in the top 2% of the 7,300 office buildings in the world assessed for the Leesman index.

Leesman+ is a globally recognised certification that is awarded to top-tier workplaces following rigorous surveying, analysis and testing. The GPA has become only the second public sector building globally to achieve the standard, joining the Competition and Markets Authority. 

Related content

To be given the certification, buildings must “create an elevated benchmark, and provide valuable insights into the quality of features, services and infrastructure that matter the most to the people who use the building”.

Leesman surveyed both office-based civil servants and those who visit more flexibly from other offices. 

Tim Oldman, founder and chief executive of Leesman, said: “Stephenson Street’s fantastic Leesman Index workplace experience rating score is testament to the GPA’s tireless effort to put public sector employees at the heart of their workplace design strategy.  And it shows that functionally outstanding, contemporary workplaces are certainly not the preserve of the private sector, demonstrating that user-centric, evidence-based approaches deliver an outstanding return on investment.”

Dominic Brankin, workplace services director at the GPA, added: “The GPA is incredibly proud to learn we are providing a truly top-rated workplace experience for civil servants.  We are all navigating our way through new ways of working that have evolved at alarming speeds. But we always work hard to maintain focus on our clients and customers to ensure we create great places to work. Our Leesman+ certification is proof we are delivering on what we promise.”

The GPA facility opened as part of the GPA’s hubs programme, which is relocating civil servants from small offices into up to 50 large hubs equipped with the most modern technology. The programme has saved over £170m annually through building closures in London alone, the Cabinet Office said last year. However, the GPA had to change its plans for the programme last year to reflect lower post-Covid office occupancy rates and MPs described the plan in December as "in disarray".


About the author

Tevye Markson is a reporter at PublicTechnology sister publication Civil Service World, where a version of this story first appeared. He tweets as @TevyeMarkson.


Share this page




Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Digital minister pledges to reverse decline in departments’ DDaT apprenticeships
8 June 2023

Alex Burghart claims that numbers have already begun to rise following reported 20% drop in 2022

Digital Leaders’ Download: Ex-HMPPS leader Farrar on how technology was crucial in helping prisons’ pandemic response
31 May 2023

In the first of a series of interviews with government’s biggest figures, PublicTechnology and CDDO caught up with  Jo Farrar to discuss exploring virtual reality and AI, and why it’...

Consultation reveals widespread opposition to proposed data-sharing laws for government login system
26 May 2023

Overwhelming majority of respondents voice disapproval but government will press on with plans to bring forward legislation

MoD seeks senior exec to boost ‘cyber awareness, behaviours and culture’ across defence sector
23 May 2023

Role comes with a remit to work with current and former military personnel, as well as officials and commercial suppliers