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How Can Leeds Benefit From Government Relocations

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Cities around the UK have welcomed the Budget 2010 announcement regarding the creation of a network of Government hubs around the UK, moving 15,000 civil servants out of London over the next five years.

GVA Grimley has mapped the areas of the country which are particularly well placed to benefit. Although Manchester and Liverpool are the only two cities to have received more than 1,000 new public sector posts since 2004, Leeds could provide a hub for health jobs.

The Ian Smith review on civil service relocations, which was published yesterday, highlights Manchester's planned Mayfield site as an exemplary destination for civil service jobs from London.

The report also suggests that in future, new relocations should be grouped together with existing regional locations to create clusters. The review states that this feeds into the Treasury's Total Place Report which highlights the need for Government agencies to share property in order to reduce costs.

Beverley Smith, director at GVA Grimley's Leeds office, explains: "Leeds already has more than 2,000 Department of Health staff and almost the same number of Work and Pensions employees at Quarry Hill.
"If the Government is seeking to cluster similar Government Agencies outside of London the North will feature strongly in the relocation process as these regions are significantly cheaper both in terms of property and employment. By focusing relocations on the less prosperous areas of the UK, we can start to use the process as a catalyst for regeneration and provision of high quality jobs. Leeds is well placed to offer well suited property, a good standard of living and a large labour pool.

"Undoubtedly, location, transport, availability of good quality office accommodation and access to the capital will play a major role in determining relocation venues."

There is approximately 500,000 sq ft of Grade A space available, including sufficient capacity in high quality, efficient and sustainable buildings. In addition, a further 100,000 sq ft is currently under construction. 

Dan Hodge, head of office agency at GVA Grimley's Leeds office, adds: "There are some prime properties sat empty in Leeds at present. Buildings such as The Mint, Latitude Red and Broadgate are iconic and deserve to be occupied. 

"In the current climate, Landlords are also willing to offer some very competitive terms; this can only benefit the proposed Government budget cuts and appease the tax payer."

Yorkshire Forward has launched a prospectus highlighting the quality of life, cost-effective childcare, lower office costs and high workforce skills, aimed at targeting Government agencies.

GVA Grimley's research highlights that Leeds has received more than 700 new Government posts since 2004, with Manchester and Liverpool being the only two cities to have exceeded 1,000 new posts in this timeframe.
Manchester has more prime floorspace available than any other major city in the UK, which Glasgow and Liverpool have the most in the pipeline.

GVA Grimley Ltd

GVA Grimley Ltd is one of the UK's leading firms of property consultants operating from 12 offices with 890 fee earners generating a turnover of £137.3 million year ending 30th April 2009.

The firm provides a full range of property-related services including agency, planning and regeneration, rating, building consultancy, investment, management and valuation consultancy. GVA Grimley also offers specialist advice in areas such as telecomms, education, healthcare, retail, contamination, plant and machinery and the automotive and roadside sectors.

GVA Grimley is a founding member of GVA Worldwide, an international organisation of real estate industry leaders serving key markets in over 25 countries. The organisation is comprised of more than 2,500 real estate professionals in over 85 markets worldwide.

A leading advisor in commercial real estate, GVA Worldwide optimises client portfolios locally and around the world. It serves the real estate needs of clients including multinational corporations, major space users, developers, owners, institutions, lenders and investors. For more information, visit www.gvaworldwide.com