HMRC to open high-tech Edinburgh hub
Office for 3,000 government workers will deploy an array of smart working technology
Plans to relocate almost 3,000 civil servants to a new office building in Edinburgh city centre have moved forward, with secretary of state for Scotland David Mundell formally taking possession of the building.
Developer Artisan presented Mundell with the keys to the seven-storey building, near the Scottish capital’s Waverley Station, at a ceremony yesterday.
Artisan said its New Waverley office accommodation would feature low-carbon energy technology – including intelligent lighting, low water-use systems, energy-efficient lifts, and a green-sedum roof system.
The developer said all of the building’s glass would be low-emissivity, or "low-e".
The building is expected to enable “closer collaboration” between departments, smarter working, and use of the latest technology.
The hub – which is being delivered by HMRC on behalf of the UK government – will also incorporate a purpose-built cabinet room for UK cabinet meetings. Mundell said it was the first time such a facility had been available in Scotland.
From spring next year the building will house HM Revenue and Customs staff, along with the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Office of the Advocate General – whose staff will move from their current Melville Crescent and Victoria Quay bases in the city.
New Waverley will also be the new base in Scotland for the Office for Statistics Regulation, the Information Commissioner’s Office and the Government Actuary’s Department.
“The formal handover of the building’s keys is an important milestone, demonstrating we are making real progress towards opening the flagship building in the heart of Edinburgh next year,” he said.
“The Edinburgh hub is a great example of the UK government’s extensive support for the capital’s economy – which we are also driving through the ambitious Edinburgh and South East Scotland Growth Deal.”
Work is currently underway on a first Glasgow hub, with a second one to follow. UK-wide, the hubs programme is projected to save more than £2 billion of public money over 20 years, relocating civil servants from smaller offices to modern cross-departmental workplaces.
Contract came with an initial seven-year potential term but will now run until 2022
Ahead of technology- and data-led reforms, officials have been invited to vent their frustrations with how Whitehall works
Dominic Cummings’ ambitions realised as prime minister’s office seeks to recruit crack squad of data scientists for No. 10 skunkworks
Mark Sedwill says equipping government with ‘more expertise… is a good thing’