Mar 23 2023
In a key milestone for the Government’s levelling up agenda, Communities Secretary the Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP has confirmed that the Government will create a second Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government Group (MHCLG) headquarters in Wolverhampton, with at least 500 roles set to be based across the West Midlands by 2025 – and further increases planned by 2030.
The new headquarters 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 this becomes a centre for policy development and decision making.
This historic move signals a culture change in civil service to give a stronger voice to communities as part of levelling up opportunity and prosperity across the regions. The move 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 half of the most senior positions. This will ensure that more local voices are reflected in the creation of Government policy. The building which will house the headquarters will be announced in the Spring.
Communities Secretary 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, Chairman of the Midlands Engine Sir John Peace said:
As Chairman of the Midlands Engine, I am proud and delighted that the very first ministerial office outside Westminster will be in our region. It is a clear signal of intent from the Government to prioritise levelling up the regions and a real mark of confidence in the Midlands; a confidence that I believe is truly justified.
A proven economic powerhouse, the Midlands is home to almost 11 million people, is responsible for 22% of England’s exports and generates £239 billion each year for the UK economy. We have even greater potential too – contributing a further £76 billion a year if our region were to be enabled, through levelling up, to performjust at the averageof English economic output.
As we take bold steps towards recovery and green growth, I look forward to working with Government and our many dedicated partners for the benefit of our region and the nation. The pace of change and challenge has been rapid and unrelenting over the last few months, but it has also resulted in powerful collaboration, demonstrating our underpinning strength and resilience. Now, together, we will rebuild our economy, drive prosperity and remain ambitious as a region which truly excels.
To read the full press release visit the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government website.
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