Three quarters of the government estate is taken up by just five departments – DWP, MoJ, BIS, HMRC and DfT. Government departments are big, not just in spending power but also the physical space they occupy. In 2014, according to the most recent State of the Estate, the core government departments took up 8.2 million square metres, with five departments – the DWP, MoJ, BIS, HMRC and DfT – taking up three quarters of this space. This is because they operate specialised buildings around the country, such as Jobcentres and courts. The rest of the government estate is taken up by smaller departments and those departments without big delivery units, such as the Treasury. These numbers only take into account domestic, civil estate and excludes all military buildings and land outside the UK – an important point for the MoD (which owns 0.9% of the entire country’s land mass) and FCO. For those bits of estate that are included, the government uses three separate terms: Mandated estate includes central government-owned property and some specialist property like courts, but excludes property such as galleries, power stations, ports and military establishments. Benchmarked estate is a subset of the mandated estate, and is […]

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