The UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) announced it plans to create a second HQ in Birmingham and a northern hub in Leeds as part of UK government commitment to “level up” all parts of the UK.
The plan would create 650 roles in the cities.
“The move is part of the government’s commitment to diversifying the Civil Service, ensuring decisions are rooted in the communities it serves,” said the DfT.
“It is a particularly important step for DfT, given the huge role it has to play in levelling up the UK through investment in vital transport infrastructure and services.
“It is the latest step in the government’s drive to move 22,000 Civil Service roles from London to communities across the UK by 2030.”
The Birmingham headquarters will include new ministerial offices, “with ministers expected to spend a significant amount of time there as the government works to rebuild the UK.”
The news of DfT creating a northern hub in Leeds comes on the back of news that the UK’s first-ever infrastructure bank will also be based in the city.
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council, said: “This is another positive investment recognising our region’s strengths, following the decision to locate the UK Infrastructure Bank here, bringing benefits not just to Leeds but Bradford and the wider region.
“I hope it will help us as we make the compelling case for future investment in our transport system, to better connect our communities and raise living standards while cutting carbon emissions.”
Cllr James Lewis, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “This shows once more the importance of Leeds, not just to our region but to the North of England and the UK.
“Investment in transport is central to our plans for the future and I hope the presence of more decision-makers in our city helps ensure the case for further investment in Leeds is heard.”
The DfT said it has already begun recruiting in Birmingham and Leeds, with 100 roles created so far.
This includes senior civil servant positions, which otherwise would have been based in London, with attracting senior figures to these locations key to the success of the initiative.
“The government is also announcing today that half of senior Civil Service roles will be located outside of London by 2030, addressing the current imbalance with the majority of senior roles being London-based,” said the DfT.
“Today’s announcement will bring economic benefits, with new spending power of those civil servants working in and around the areas outlined.
“£65 million has been allocated for the overall government hubs programme in 2021 to 2022 for office works and improvements.
“Evidence of past relocations of civil servants shows that bringing public sector roles to an area also stimulates the creation of private sector roles, investment in office space and opportunities for local businesses to supply services.
“A recent study found that for every 10 public sector roles moved to a town under the Lyons Review of Public Sector Relocation in 2004, 11 private sector roles were created.
“The move of the 1,150 Met Office roles to Exeter was estimated to add £65 million to local gross value added.”