Mega Edinburgh office lease for civil service hub

The largest office leasing deal in Edinburgh for more than 20 years has been agreed following confirmation by the UK Government that it will open its first Scottish Hub in the city centre for 2,900 civil servants in 2020.​

Property firm JLL said the UK Government will take about 190,000 sq ft of grade A offices at New Waverley Edinburgh, with a lease commitment of at least 20 years.

The new Hub will be located between Calton Road and New Street near Waverley Station.

The UK Government Property Unit, advised by JLL, is overseeing the deal for the new Hub.

New Waverley is being delivered by Artisan Real Estate Investors and will be occupied by the 2,900 civil servants from several UK Government departments including HMRC.

Ben Reed, JLL director of office agency, who advised the Government Property Unit, said: “The Government’s decision to locate its flagship Scottish Hub to New Waverley makes this the largest occupier leasing deal in Edinburgh for over two decades.

“New Waverley, was selected after a rigorous process looking at a broad range of criteria as well as cost efficiency.

“The big draw of the site, which has transformed the heart of the city’s Old Town, is its strategic location adjacent to Edinburgh’s main railway station providing excellent connectivity for staff and visitors.

“The building is set to be the final phase of this vibrant and successful mixed-use development, which gave our client confidence that the developer could meet their relocation programme.”

UK government minister Caroline Nokes said: “This new flagship building is part of our radical upgrade of the civil service and will support our diverse and creative workforce as they make a real difference to the lives of people in Scotland.

“This landmark development will deliver significant benefits to Edinburgh and the communities within it.

“Alongside significant savings for the taxpayer, the roll out of government hubs will provide modern working environments across the whole of the UK that will enable us to provide the best public services we can.”

HMRC chief executive Jon Thompson, said: “Locating HMRC’s new regional centre for Edinburgh in the New Waverley development is another step in HMRC’s transformation, into a modern, digitally-advanced tax authority.

“HMRC will bring its teams together to promote closer working relationships, and increasing our effectiveness in collecting taxes.”