Scottish ministers seek options for potential move away from flagship Glasgow office

Scottish ministers are exploring the possibility of leaving the Government’s headquarters in Glasgow on the banks of the Clyde as part of a potential cost-cutting measure, it can be revealed.

Global real estate firm Avison Young has been awarded a £125,000 contract by the Scottish Government to undertake a “Glasgow Office Project”, information on the Public Contracts Scotland website states.

The estate agents, who specialise in large commercial properties, have been asked to “undertake an Outline Business Case” around the Scottish Government’s Glasgow office requirements.

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Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at a Scottish Government event in Glasgow to showcase green investment opportunities during COP26.

The contract states this could see the “potential to co-locate” with “a number of its public body organisations”.

Details of the contract states: “The Scottish Government is seeking to contract an advisor to undertake an Outline Business Case to inform its future Glasgow office requirements, with the potential to co-locate with a number of its public body organisations.”

The Scottish Government’s main office in Glasgow is Atlantic Quay on the banks of the Clyde, close to Glasgow Central Station.

Its other main offices include Victoria Quay in the Leith area of Edinburgh and St Andrew’s House on Regent Road in the Scottish capital.

Other major offices in Glasgow operated by the Scottish Government which could be subsumed into a larger office space include those of the Scottish Qualifications Authority, Social Security Scotland and Transport Scotland.

Co-locating these offices in one location could lead to a major cut to costs, particularly given the increase in home working during the pandemic, which could allow the Government to reduce the overall amount of space required.

However, the Scottish Government refused to be drawn on whether the review was as part of a cost-cutting exercise, nor would it comment on any potential job losses or which public bodies could be involved in such a move.

Instead, a spokesperson for the Government said the report requested from Avison Young was part of its “regular review” of office space.

The spokesperson said: “As is good practice for all large organisations, the Scottish Government keeps its future estate requirements under regular review and seeks external property advice to assist in this as required, as it will be doing for Glasgow.

“This is a standard review to ensure we are making efficient use of property and the best use of public funds.”

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