Construction has begun on a major new government hub in Peterborough, Cabinet Office Minister Julia Lopez has announced today.
The new hub, due to be completed in 2022, will house 1,000 civil servants from HM Passport Office and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, at the Fletton Quays development in Peterborough city centre. This is part of a £120m regeneration of the Fletton Quays site led by Peterborough Investment Partnership and site developer Bride Hall.
The new site is part of the Government’s Hub Programme, which is driving forward plans to move thousands of civil servants out of central London, to improve opportunity and level up across the UK.
Cabinet Office Minister Julia Lopez said: “The new hub at Fletton Quays is a great example of the Government’s commitment to Peterborough and will provide a real boost to the area. Developments like these and others across the whole of the UK are a key part of our work to spread jobs, growth and prosperity. I look forward to seeing the progress the Government Hubs Programme makes and I know this development will create a wonderful new facility for Peterborough and the people who work here.”
The Government Hubs Programme has so far seen the development of 17 office hubs announced in areas including Glasgow, Belfast, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham,
Cardiff, Birmingham, and Bristol to support around 60,000 civil servants.
The aim of the programme is to relocate civil servants from existing poorly designed, often fragmented office locations, to modern, multi-departmental workplaces which will make the most of emerging working practices and technology.
Government hubs are located close to public transport connections and local amenities, providing flexible workspace where the lessons from working from home over recent months can be incorporated to make offices a safe environment for civil servants to meet and work.
The Peterborough development will minimise the carbon footprint of the materials used in the construction process and will be energy efficient, resulting in a well-maintained and sustainable building. This hub will contribute to the government’s target of at least a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the public sector estate by 2032, with a goal of net zero by 2050.
The location of the hub is accessible to the whole of Peterborough by bicycle, with a less than 35 minute cycle ride, and leads to an off-road, shared foot and cycle lane which joins onto the National Cycle Network. This combination of location and accessibility to cycle networks, and the availability of 110 bicycle racks, ensures that cycling is a feasible mode of transport for workers at the hub.
The site is being developed by Bride Hall Developments which recently awarded and signed a contract with contractor Bowmer + Kirkland, paving the way for the construction phase to begin. When completed, the hub will house civil servants across seven floors, with a total internal area of 8,010m2.
In a boost to the regional economy, a number of apprentices local to Peterborough will be working on this project covering areas such as cladding, electrical work, bricklaying, joinery, groundworks and design. The contractor will also source site labour, cleaners, administrative and logistical staff from the local area.
Chief Executive of the Government Property Agency, Steven Boyd, responsible for delivery of the programme, said: “Entering the construction phase of our new hub in Peterborough marks another milestone achieved in our ambitious Government Hubs Programme.
“The Government Property Agency is creating great places to work for civil servants in locations across the UK. We will continue to work closely with departments to ensure their people can build their careers outside of London in strong regional centres that enable efficient, collaborative and flexible working, driving engagement and improving staff productivity and wellbeing.
“Learning from the Coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever to provide flexible workspaces, and I look forward to welcoming civil servants when the building completes.”
Councillor John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “The government hub is the next key stage in the Fletton Quays development. We’re delighted with the progress being made which is playing a significant part in transforming our city centre and demonstrates the government’s commitment to Peterborough.
“Fletton Quays is just one part of a forthcoming transformation of our city centre. Our current regeneration plans are the most ambitious in decades and will attract millions of pounds of investment. We are one of the fastest growing cities in the country and our forward thinking city centre transformation plans will make Peterborough an even greater place to live, work and visit in years to come.”
Nigel Desmond, Managing Director of Bride Hall Developments said: “We are looking forward to developing another landmark building in the city of Peterborough and be part of the Government Hubs Programme. It’s great news for Peterborough and the region, stimulating economic growth and maintaining its presence as a key destination for the public sector.”
Bowmer + Kirkland Regional Director, John Clarke, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen once again by Bride Hall Developments for another project in Peterborough. This project will boost the local economy during construction, provide apprenticeships for local people and hopefully bring further investment to the town.”