Business and political leaders in Greater Manchester have welcomed news that more than 400 additional civil service roles are to be based in the city-region.
Two Government departments will bring 3,000 roles to UK regions from London and the South East, part of the Places for Growth Scheme to locate policy makers closer to communities and support economic growth.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will increase its staff in Salford from 10 to 420 by 2025.
The Home Office will increase its staff in Manchester and Salford as part of a plan to develop 1,950 roles outside of London, including senior civil service roles. The number of additional Home Office roles to be based in Greater Manchester has not yet been disclosed.
Lou Cordwell, chair of Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This move will help to ensure that Government policy is more closely aligned with the strengths and ambitions of the Greater Manchester business community.
“As outlined in the Greater Manchester Economic Vision, we have a vital role to play in supporting UK levelling up and economic growth and we welcome the news that the Government is ready to work more closely with business leaders across the North.”
Tim Newns, CEO of MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency, said: “The Government’s commitment to building on the presence of civil servants in Greater Manchester is fantastic news for the region.
“Greater Manchester has the talent, skills and infrastructure available to ensure that the relocation of key roles will bring benefits both locally and nationally and we look forward to embedding the teams into the local public, academic and private sector networks.
Paul Dennett, City Mayor of Salford, said: “This announcement is great news for Salford and local people, demonstrating the success of our long-term strategy to bring in new investment and opportunities.
“The relocation of jobs to Salford is greatly welcomed and we will work with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Home Office to make it a local success. Relocations are not just about jobs being relocated outside of London, but also making sure that local people benefit from the government department’s presence in our city. It is about unlocking opportunities and linking local people, local businesses and educational providers with what is on offer. It is our job to connect people and organisations in our city to the roles and opportunities available.
“We’re also pleased that the department responsible for areas including business growth, industrial policy, renewable energy, science, research and development, and employment rights will have a significant base in our city and we welcome the opportunity to influence their decisions and practices as well as the employment opportunities they’ll inevitably provide.
“I am proud of the innovation of Salford; the city has a proven track record of attracting investment and creating jobs, growth and opportunities.”
As part of the government’s commitment to levelling up every region of the UK, the Chancellor announced at Budget 2020 that the government would shift 22,000 Civil Service jobs out of London by the end of the decade – with a target for 25% of roles to be outside London by 2025.
BEIS civil service roles will be shifted through natural turnover creating jobs in regional offices as and when vacancies arise from London, meaning current staff will not be required to relocate from London unless they want to. The Business Department will draw on a combination of regional offices and flexible working to ensure an efficient spread of roles.
This announcement will also see both the Business Secretary, Home Secretary and other government ministers spending an increasing amount of time outside of London, ensuring local communities feel better represented and providing new opportunities to better tailor policies to meet regional needs.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “We are doubling down on our commitment to level up every region of the UK, so that every part of the country can share in the UK’s future prosperity.
“Our policy developers and decision-makers must reflect the communities they serve. Relocating these Civil Service roles will ensure central government hears the voice of local communities louder and clearer than ever before, while creating hubs of economic opportunity and growth across the UK.”