Two key UK city centres are set to benefit from funding under the Government Hubs programme, which is aimed at promoting regional growth around the country.
Birmingham and Peterborough will see comprehensive regeneration efforts in their respective city centres through the Government Hubs initiative, which aims to stimulate local growth by building office ‘hubs’ in central urban areas which combine multiple civil service departments. In addition to driving increased traffic to central businesses through the influx of civil servants, the scheme – which has already implemented 14 such hubs across the UK – is designed to save taxpayer money by streamlining office facilities and phasing out the use of older office blocks which are typically more expensive to maintain.
Simon Hart, Minister for Implementation at the Cabinet Office, said: “The opening of these new hubs is great news for local businesses in Birmingham and Peterborough. Developing Government hubs helps to bring forward vital regeneration projects across the country and boost local economies. It also makes sure government workers have the best possible facilities and saves taxpayers’ money by replacing outdated office blocks which are expensive to maintain with more modern facilities.”
The new government hub set for construction at Birmingham’s Platform 21 site, which is expected to be completed by 2021, will house around 1,700 civil servants at an overall saving to the city of around £6m (€6.67m); while a second hub to be built in the city will house a further 3,600. The Peterborough development, which is to be constructed as part of a wider regeneration of the city’s Fletton Quays location, will house around 1,000 civil servants on its completion, also set for 2021.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “I am delighted to see the Platform 21 development in Birmingham has been chosen as the location for a government hub. Simon and his team have recognised the city’s great transport links and infrastructure; and the fact the city – and indeed the wider region – has so much to offer. The West Midlands is going from strength to strength and I am delighted that the government continues to support us.”
Councillor John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “To have key government organisations secure a space at Fletton Quays is good news, both for the development and the city as a whole. Fletton Quays represents a new age of growth and regeneration for Peterborough. These key additions to the site will bring footfall, recruitment and investment, as well as opening up the prospect of attracting additional government jobs to Peterborough in the future.”