January 27, 2013
A new website that will let members of the UK public see for the first time what government property is available to buy or rent was launched on Friday. Find Me Some Government Space claims to operate in a similar way to commercial sites such as ‘rightmove’ by allowing organisations and individuals to identify available property and land using either a postcode or area keyword. The move comes as the government looks to divest itself of up to 1200 unused and unwanted public sector properties, some of which may have been empty for years.
The Government claims to have raised some £640m since 2010 by selling 250 surplus buildings. The new website is expected to speed up the process of getting rid of many more that may have been empty for over a decade.. It will market over 300 properties to rent and 900 to buy across Great Britain. Properties range from offices to more distinctive properties such as the Bidston observatory in Merseyside, with its distinctive twin domes and a former fire control centre in Wakefield.
Property will be displayed on the website with photos and building guides where available. The move comes in the wake of the National Property Controls introduced by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, which stopped the signing of new leases and renewals of existing leases. The Government claims this move has reduced costs from May 2010 to September 2012 by £362 million a year.