The Home Office will soon be moving more than 5,000 civil servants into its new, state-of-the-art office building – or “Government Hub”, as they call it – at 2 Ruskin Square, close by East Croydon Station.
The Government Property Agency today announced that it had achieved “practical completion” of the building, in its handover from developers Stanhope in partnership with Schroders and Lendlease.
The move into Ruskin Square for Home Office staff is expected in mid-2024, with all workers currently based in Lunar House and Apollo House on Wellesley Road, plus one other Home Office building in Croydon, to be accommodated in the new buildings.
Lunar House is the 20-storey building, completed in 1970 by developer Harry Hyams, which for the past quarter-century has been the headquarters of UK Visas and Immigration service – making Croydon one of the main points of entry to this country for migrants and refugees.
The Stanhope-Schroders development of the nine-acre Ruskin Square has been underway for more than a decade. As well as building a residential block, the site includes Boxpark, some residential and 1 Ruskin Square, offices for HM Revenue and Customs which opened in 2017.
A third Ruskin Square office block is currently under construction.
Stanhope sold their interest in 2 Ruskin Square to the Pensions Insurance Corporation, who are now effectively the Home Office’s landlords. PIC paid £267million for the building.
They describe the building as part of a “long-term commitment to supporting the greening and modernisation of the UK Government’s estate”, adding that 2 Ruskin Square is “a best-in-class development”.
Government Property Agency “will now take on the lease and work in partnership with Wates Smartspace to fit out and complete the building to the Government Workplace Design Standards”, an announcement released today said.
“Today marks the end of three years of hard work by the integrated delivery team, led by the GPA in partnership with PIC, Stanhope, Schroders, Lendlease and their excellent supply chain, who have designed and built this extraordinary building to meet the Home Office needs,” said the GPA’s Clive Anderson.
“I am delighted with the CAT A base build completion earlier than planned ready for the GPA to complete for our Home Office customers in late summer 2024.”
Matthew Rycroft, the Home Office’s Permanent Secretary, said: “This is an exciting step towards the completion of the new Home Office Croydon Hub.
“The site will play a major role in our work to keep the country safe, secure and prosperous. It will provide a modern space that is sustainable and which offers a collaborative and enjoyable working environment.
“I would like to thank all those who are working hard to make this innovative building a reality. I very much look forward to its completion next year.”
The building is rated BREEAM Outstanding, and “is highly sustainable with fully decarbonised power and all electricity procured from renewable sources”, which offers, according to a press release which appears to have been drafted by the scriptwriters of W1A, an “effective mix of flexible and hybrid work spaces”, as well as “fully inclusive refreshment hubs, home zones and meeting rooms”. Which is nice.
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