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Departmental Location

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what timescale he has set for completion of his Department’s proposed accommodation relocation and rationalisation project; which potential locations have been shortlisted; whether he proposes to build the proposed office accommodation under a private finance initiative scheme; and if he will make a statement. (289475)

The Ministry of Justice is developing a feasibility study and business case for potentially establishing a national justice centre hub for HQ functions that do not need to be based in central London.

The long-term objective is to reduce the high cost London presence and to focus London based activity to business critical requirements of supporting Ministers and conducting core strategic policymaking.

This is part of a five year estates plan and excludes prisons, courts, tribunals and other operational services which are included in separate operational estate strategies.

A thorough process is being undertaken and a set of criteria is currently being established with the close involvement of both the Office of Government Commerce and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The criteria are wide ranging covering not only value for money considerations but also the socioeconomic impacts, local and regional partnerships, labour market and career opportunities, transport links and sustainability, health and social factors as well as others.

A list of potential locations has not yet been established and no decisions have been made about the scale, staffing or financial arrangements of any potential future locations.