Birmingham and Peterborough latest cities to benefit from government hubs

Birmingham and Peterborough latest cities to benefit from government hubs

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Sites in Birmingham and Peterborough are to be regenerated as part of a government programme designed to boost regional growth and save taxpayers’ money. The Government Hubs programme has so far seen the development of 14 office hubs around the country, which the government claims provide civil servants with state-of-the-art working environments designed to boost efficiency and drive savings by bringing together different departments under one roof – moving civil servants to inner-city sites located close to public transport connections, local amenities and shops. More →

Still healthy demand for construction work on fit outs and office refurbishment

Still healthy demand for construction work on fit outs and office refurbishment

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Although the new commercial development sector may be subdued, specialist contractors are seeing a continued demand for construction work on fit outs and office refurbishment. According to Glenigan the construction sector has been buoyed up by a series of major refurbishments of government offices while some large private sector groups are also investing to update and modernise their commercial space. More →

Green Building Council releases guidance on social value for local authorities

Green Building Council releases guidance on social value for local authorities

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Two people in an office discuss green building designThe UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has released its latest guidance document, detailing how local authorities can help ensure that new construction and property development in their area positively impacts people and communities by delivering social value. More →

Productivity only a priority for a third of employers as skills shortages persist

Productivity only a priority for a third of employers as skills shortages persist

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Despite its importance to the economy, productivity is only a priority for 36 percent of employers and only half (50 percent) use the term when discussing organisational performance according to the latest Labour Market Outlook from the CIPD and the Adecco Group. And LMO data suggests that employers are overconfident when it comes to assessing their own productivity, with just 7 percent believing their organisation’s productivity is below average. More →

UK cyber threat intensifies within both the private and public sector

UK cyber threat intensifies within both the private and public sector

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The UK’s cyber threat environment is intensifying, with over three quarters (88 percent) of organisations reporting they’d experienced a cyber breach in the last 12 months. The UK Threat Report from Carbon Black also claims attacks are growing in volume and the average number of breaches has increased. The average number of breaches per organisation over the past year was 3.67 and 87 percent of organisations saw an increase in attack volumes. In addition, 89 percent of organisations say attacks have become more sophisticated.

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Digital Board could help Local Authorities deliver smart initiatives

Digital Board could help Local Authorities deliver smart initiatives

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Digital Board could help Local Authorities deliver Smart initiativesLocal authorities, which are on the front line of implementation when it comes to smart, place-based digital initiatives could be helped to deliver positive, sustainable citizen outcomes for their locality with the formation of a Digital Board – a new report claims. Launched at techUK’s Local Gov Transformation: Creating smart places event, What makes a ‘good’ Digital Board? draws upon the expertise of techUK industry members and public sector stakeholders to guide local authorities through building a stronger understanding of digital, data and technological solutions into decision-making levels by establishing and maintaining a good Digital Board. More →

Crown Estate HQ becomes first office in Europe to achieve WELL Platinum Certification

Crown Estate HQ becomes first office in Europe to achieve WELL Platinum Certification

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The Crown Estate has announced that it has been awarded WELL Certification at the Platinum Level for its head office at No 1 St James’s Market, London by the International WELL Building Institute. The Crown Estate earned the distinction based on seven categories of building performance—air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort and mind—and achieved a Platinum level rating.

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New government estates strategy will see thousands of jobs relocate away from London

New government estates strategy will see thousands of jobs relocate away from London

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estates strategyThe UK Government has announced it latest plans to save around £3.6bn over the next two decades by dramatically scaling back its property estate and relocating thousands of staff as part of its new 12 year estates strategy. The Cabinet Office has outlined the plans to move thousands of public sector jobs, including senior roles, out of London by 2030, reducing Whitehall buildings from around 65 to 20 over the same period. Around 20 so-called Government hubs will be set up in the regions by the end of this parliament in 2022. In total, the strategy commits to reducing the number of government-owned office buildings from 800 to under 200, with an estimated saving of £3.6bn over 20 years.

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Local authorities spend £3.8bn on commercial property in last five years

Local authorities spend £3.8bn on commercial property in last five years

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Local authorities have invested around £3.8 bn in commercial property over the last five years, a new study claims. The report (registration required) from property consultancy Carter Jonas and Revo claims that of the £3.8 bn invested, nearly half was spent on the acquisition of office space. It found that Spelthorne Borough Council in Surrey (pictured)  was the largest local authority investor committing £477.1 m to assets within its domain. This is more than double its nearest rival Warrington Borough Council (£219.5 m) and is largely down to the purchase of BP’s International Centre for Business & Technology in Sunbury for £360 m.

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Brexit: CBI stresses importance of getting new rules right for UK construction

Brexit: CBI stresses importance of getting new rules right for UK construction

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Brexit: CBI stresses importance of getting new rules right for construction

Brexit presents opportunities for rule changes in sectors such as agriculture, shipping and tourism that could ultimately benefit the British economy and consumers. This is according to a new CBI study, “Smooth Operations, compiled over a six-month period, which states that the opportunities for divergence are vastly outweighed by the costs of deviating from rules necessary to ensure smooth access to the EU market. Another important finding is that changes to rules in one sector have significant knock on effects for companies in other sectors and throughout supply chains. There are specific regulatory needs for the construction sector, according to the report, the first being regulatory convergence on rules for construction products and materials, vital to protect the competitiveness of manufacturers and avoid major barriers to trade. The CBI also argues that maintaining equivalence in procurement rules between the UK and EU is important, but there are still opportunities to improve how the UK procures work in the construction sector without diverging from EU rules.

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Rising demand for Grade A office space helps sustain Edinburgh commercial property market

Rising demand for Grade A office space helps sustain Edinburgh commercial property market

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State Street Bank at Quartermile 3 EdinburghTechnology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) companies are continuing to play a prominent role within Edinburgh’s office market, accounting for approximately 30 percent of transactions in the city. But rising demand for Grade A office space in Edinburgh by a variety of organisations, including coworking,  private and public sector tenants has fuelled significant occupier demand during the first quarter of 2018, according to analysis by property consultancy, Knight Frank. The latest commercial property figures show approximately 460,000 sq. ft. of new occupier requirements came onto the market in the first three months of the year from companies looking to lease office space in Edinburgh. More →

Government announces details of new real estate agency

Government announces details of new real estate agency

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The UK government has announced the creation of the Government Property Agency (GPA) which will aim to ‘improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Government Estate and generate benefits of between £1.4 billion and £2.4 billion over the next ten years’. GPA’s initial portfolio of 80 properties will grow to over 1,000 as it takes on increasing responsibility for managing the general purpose central government real estate portfolio. This is intended to manage the government’s property portfolio strategically in order to realise the benefits that departments cannot achieve on their own. The GPA will partner with government departments to find innovative property solutions, and provide expertise to enable them to deliver wider business change more efficiently. More broadly, the GPA will also be an enabler for the delivery of Civil Service transformation, regional growth and the government’s vision to strengthen the Union.

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