Defra moves home to save £2m a year

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) staff in London are to be decanted from the department’s three offices in the capital to one by early 2018 saving some £2m a year.

The move will take staff and some agencies to 2 Marsham Street in Westminster, to join the Home Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The relocation decision has arisen from the ending in June of leases on Ergon House and 9 Millbank. Both buildings are to be redeveloped into residential property. Staff currently based in the art deco grandeur of Nobel House (pictured) in Smith Square will also relocate to Marsham Street.

The relocation, said Defra, will also help government save £100 million by 2030 as it further streamlines its London estate as part of its ongoing reform programme.

Defra permanent secretary, Clare Moriarty, said: “Under the Whitehall Campus Strategy, the government’s property unit has reduced the its central London estate from 181 properties in 2010 to 54. By 2025 this figure is expected to fall to some 20 efficient, fit-for-purpose buildings.”