In a key milestone for the UK Government’s levelling up agenda, it has been confirmed that a second headquarters for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) will be set up in Wolverhampton.
This will see at least 500 MHCLG roles set to be based across the West Midlands by 2025, with further increases planned by 2030.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is leading the way and the new HQ in Wolverhampton will include the presence of ministers, making it the first such ministerial office outside of London with a regular ministerial presence.
Senior civil servants will also be based in Wolverhampton, ensuring the city becomes a centre for policy development and decision-making.
This historic move signals a culture change in the Civil Service to give a stronger voice to communities in the government’s mission to level up opportunity and prosperity across the regions.
It is a significant increase on the 300 roles currently in the region and is part of plans to have at least 800 roles outside of London by 2030, including 50% of the most senior positions and will ensure that more local voices are reflected in the creation of government policy.
The government believes that these moves will help provide an economic boost to these areas, bring a greater variety of voices and experiences into the Civil Service and provide improved career paths outside of Whitehall.
MHCLG will be working in partnership with other government departments to improve collaborative working and develop greater career options outside of London so they can retain talented Civil Servants who are based outside of London.
Recruitment is already underway, with 40 roles already relocated to the region in the last 12 months and the new building for the headquarters is expected to be announced in spring.
Commenting, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick said: “As Communities Secretary, I am determined to spread opportunity and prosperity to every part of our nation.
“That is why I am delighted to be taking the historic step of moving significant numbers of senior roles out of Whitehall and creating the first ever ministerial office outside of Westminster in Wolverhampton, increasing the jobs in the Midlands to over 500.
“With a dual headquarters in Wolverhampton, my department will not only change where we work but how we work, signalling the end of the Whitehall knows best approach. All of us at the department are looking forward to having the opportunity to work there.
“This government knows that by having more local voices at the heart of our policy development and delivery, we will support our communities more effectively and we will continue to develop greater career options in government outside of London.
“In choosing the City of Wolverhampton, we are also backing our great smaller cities, some of which have been neglected for too long. We want to raise their stature, encourage civic pride and commercial success.”
Reacting to the news, West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street Tweeted: “Delighted that after months of lobbying alongside the city’s MPs and council, we’ve convinced a major government department, MHCLG to move to Wolverhampton. A huge vote of confidence in the West Midlands, bringing it hundreds of jobs and millions of investment. A landmark day.”