HMRC set to open Edinburgh mega centre in 2020

Work is on schedule for the opening of HMRC’s new Scottish headquarters in Edinburgh in spring 2020, which will form the centrepiece of a newly built, high-tech government hub

The opening, scheduled for next April, will see many of HMRC's Scottish based staff move to a new UK Government Hub in central Edinburgh and is part of a £240m redevelopment of the Waverley area of the City.

The new buildings will be headquarters for multiple UK wide public sector departments, although HMRC will be the largest tenant with around 2,600 full-time permanent staff on site.

Property developer Artisan Real Estate has now formally handed over the keys of the building to Scottish secretary David Mundell, marking completion of the construction phase.

The move is part of HMRC’s major nationwide office restructure and rationalisation programme first announced in 2016. This long-term office modernisation and rationalisation programme involves the closure of up to 137 HMRC offices in smaller towns and cities across the UK and the relocation of thousands of HMRC staff to high tech offices, primarily based in city centres and major conurbations, creating 13 regional hubs across the country.

In Scotland, smaller HMRC offices in Aberdeen, Bathgate, Livingston and other Edinburgh locations are closing between June 2020 and January 2021.

HMRC will also have a regional centre in Glasgow and will keep its office in East Kilbride open for longer, until 2025-26. It will also retain its specialist site in Gartcosh, as part of the Scottish Crime Campus.

The new Hub, located near Waverley Station in the heart of Edinburgh, is a seven-storey, 190,000 square feet, ultra-modern office space. It will bring together nearly 3,000 UK government civil servants from a range of UK government departments.

Due to open in Spring 2020, the Hub will improve the work of the UK government in Scotland, helping them deliver better services for Scottish people, the government claimed. It will enable closer collaboration between departments, smarter working, and use of the latest technology. The Hub will incorporate a Cabinet Room, allowing the UK government cabinet to meet in a purpose-built room, the first time such a facility has been available in Scotland.

The first regional centre opened in Croydon in September 2017 and has 2,600 employees. The majority of the facilities will be operational within three years, with Birmingham and Cardiff sites set to open in 2020, and the Liverpool site being occupied this year.  

Report by Sara White

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