Looking at the UK Government's property portfolio today, one could be forgiven or thinking that it has not changed since the 1970s. Whilst the private sector now enjoys better, more energy efficient buildings, a workforce that can connect to their workplace from wherever they are and the cost-savings that come from a more strategic attitude towards property and the location of services - the public sector has yet to tackle head-on the problem of their ageing, disparate estate.
Some work has been done to try and shrink the government estate - making 'best use' of their property as-is. However, whilst saving the money in the short term, through pursuing this policy the UK public sector is becoming further and further entrenched in property that, in this atmosphere of change, is being left behind and unable to capitalise on the benefits modern workspace innovations can bring.
Against this backdrop, the Civil Service within London despite the numerous government reviews advising to the contrary, has been steadily growing over the last 50 years. The cost to the public purse of housing c. 79,000 civil servants within some of the most expensive offices in the world is well understood, but without viable, high-quality alternatives outside of the capital, this is a cost that is only going to grow.
As a solution to this problem, a number of local authorities have taken the lead in the development of new-build, high quality Public Service Hubs. These buildings, designed to allow multiple public sector organisations from across central government, healthcare, blue light services and the collaborative 3rd sector, are set to be the first of their kind and a benchmark for the delivery of high-quality public services.
Each of the hub projects ave been designed to allow collaborative organisations from across the public sector to come together under one roof to share services and deliver best practice. Each of the above thematic clusters represents a government initiative that these hub programmes can support.
To read more about each of the individual hub projects, click on one of the hub developments below: