Putting HMRC on a firm foundation in the capital
Work has officially started on a new UK Government hub in the centre of Cardiff that will be home to 4,000 civil servants.
It comes as a ground-breaking ceremony was held earlier today for the 270,000 sq ft 6 Central Square building, which represents the next phase of the wider Central Square regeneration scheme from Cardiff-based property development firm Rightacres.
The 12-storey building, designed by architectural firm Gensler, will be home to the new main tax office for HMRC in Wales - which is relocating from the Llanishen area of Cardiff.
Home to more than 3,000 staff, it will be one of 13 new regional centres for HMRC across the UK. Staff will move into the £100m scheme from 2020.
The hub will also be the new home of the Wales Office, which will relocate its team of around 25 from its current offices in Cardiff Bay.
While other public sector tenants have yet be to confirmed, the Department for Work & Pensions is also expected to join HMRC staff.
The building, due for completion in December 2019, will also have space for other UK Government departments and organisations, such as Innovate UK, to use.
The hub was chosen by the Government Property Unit of the UK Government after a competitive bidding process.
HMRC will occupy just over 87% of the building, on the site of the former headquarters and printing presses of Media Wales.
The main contractor for the building is Sir Robert McAlpine. Some 400 jobs will be created during the construction period.
Government Property Unit programme director Ann Carter-Gray said: “Central Square will be part of a network of Government hubs, transforming central Government’s offices by accommodating many different departments in shared buildings in our capital cities and in the regions. The hubs will be a catalyst for growth in city centres and surrounding areas, helping to boost jobs and economic growth and ensure the delivery of the best-quality services to the public.”
Glynne Jones, director of the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales, said: “We’re delighted to be part of the new Central Square development at the heart of Cardiff’s city centre. This is the beginning of a process that will eventually see our colleagues come together in state-ofthe art facilities, enabling closer working relationships between departments. It also sends a clear message that the UK Government is visible, accessible and helping to improve people’s lives in Wales.”
HMRC’s estates director Steven Boyd said: “This is an important milestone in the delivery of the Government hub in Cardiff, which will be the new home for HMRC in Wales. When it is built, the new building’s quality environment and high-speed digital connectivity will allow our staff to work collaboratively with other teams, enabling us to become a tax authority fit for the future.”
Other projects already delivered or under construction at Central Square, for which L&G has already committed £300m of funding to, are:
The now fully-let One Central Square office scheme, which extends to 135,000 sq ft and employs more than 1,000 staff with tenants including law firm Blake Morgan and car finance specialists MotoNovo.
A new 150,000 sq ft headquarters for BBC Cymru Wales, which will see 1,200 staff beginning a phase move from autumn 2019.
The 135,000 sq ft No 2 Central Square office scheme, which will be ready for occupancy next summer and is already fully pre-let to law firm Hugh James and Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture Studies.
Russell Goodway, Cardiff council’s cabinet member for investment and development said: “The decision to locate the new UK Government hub at Central Square effectively confirms how right we as a council were to take the decision to regenerate this part of the city.”
Paul McCarthy, chief executive of Rightacres, said: “Central Square is fast establishing itself as the prime destination for employers who want to offer their staff the very best in city centre, transport and leisure amenities. Businesses that have already moved into the Square are seeing improved output in productivity and finding it easier to recruit new talent.”
> Work under way on the UK Government hub at Central Square
> How the new HMRC HQ will look