A new website that will let members of the public see what government property is available to buy or rent thereby speeding up the process for government to exit its costly and unused properties, was launched on Friday by Cabinet Office Minister, Chloe Smith.
Find Me Some Government Space operates similarly to commercial sites such as ‘rightmove’ in that the public will be able to find available property using either a postcode or area keyword.
The website will open up over 300 properties available to rent and around 900 currently available to buy across Great Britain, including an old Magistrates Court in Retford and an old Battle Hospital in Reading.
Other property also available is: Bidston observatory, Wakefield Fire Control Centre, Lerwick Observatory Site, Witham Magistrates Court, Park Lane Ambulance Station Wolverhampton and Disused mortuary at Royal Victoria Hospital Folkestone.
Users will be able to access the site via the new government website GOV.UK to search for property to purchase or rent from the government. Property will be displayed with photos and building guides alongside relevant contact details for the official involved in renting or selling the building.
Minister for political and constitutional reform, Chloe Smith said:
“We’re making the civil service more efficient and cutting waste, as a result we will have a number of properties both owned and rented that we need to do more with. Not only will this website help to save government money but we will see new opportunities, jobs and growth in local economies as new life is brought into empty, unused properties.”
The Government has also made positive strides in reducing its unused and costly housing stock via National Property Controls introduced by the minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude. These controls stopped signing of new leases and renewals of existing leases and has led to a reduction in costs of £362 million a year (from May 2010 to September 2012). Additionally – over the 20 months following May 2010, over £640 million has been raised in capital receipts by selling over 250 surplus buildings.
Reproduced and adapted under open government licence