Stratford Credit headset: Sludge G / CC BY-SA 2.0

HM Revenue and Customs has officially opened its headquarters in Stratford in east London, making it the 11th of 14 planned regional centers to be fully launched, and another is expected to open later this month.

All sites in Croydon, Bristol, Belfast, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, Glasgow and Nottingham have opened, and Manchester will appear in the next few weeks.

The tax agency has previously promised that its new locations will be one of the “most digital buildings in government”, with 15 companies involved in the construction of service facilities must sign a “digital charter” drawn up by HMRC Estates. management.

Regional centers are opening in parallel with the closure of a network of 170 HMRC offices across the UK, a strategy that, according to the tax agency, will modernize the department and save millions of pounds.

The Stratford Center is only the third center to receive official launch due to Covid restrictions.

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The site at 14 Westfield Avenue was officially opened by HMRC CEO Jim Hara on May 4, but was used by government officials who could not work from home during the March 2021 pandemic.

Most employees have only recently been able to work regularly in the building due to Covid’s limitations. About 5,200 HMRC employees now work there.

“I am pleased to finally celebrate the opening of our regional center and government center in Stratford,” Harra said. “A modern building is a modern, inclusive and flexible work environment that unites our people and creates greater opportunities for collaboration between teams, which facilitates the provision of excellent services to our customers.”

Stratford became the seventh regional center to open its doors. 11 ready-made facilities opened on the following dates:

Croydon – July 2017
Bristol – September 2019
Belfast – December 2019
Edinburgh – September 2020
Cardiff – February 2021
Leeds – March 2021
Stratford – March 2021
Liverpool – August 2021
Birmingham – August 2021
Glasgow – April 2022
Nottingham – April 2022

Manchester is going to welcome staff “in the coming week or so”. This will remain in the fact that two regional centers have not yet opened: Newcastle and Portsmouth.

The Newcastle office will not open until 2027, while HMRC has not yet announced a location for the Portsmouth Center.

The Portsmouth Regional Center is a recent addition to the strategy. Plans for a new site were announced during the reversal in January, when HMRC said it would replace the existing temporary office in the port city, which was due to close in 2025-26.

HMRC said its placement strategy, announced in 2015, would allow it to become one of the most advanced tax authorities in the world.

He also expects the strategy to save the department £ 300 million by 2025-26, with annual savings of £ 74 million from 2025-26, growing to £ 90 million in 2028-29.

At the official opening of the site in Stratford, the memory of employees and former employees who died in the civil service was honored.

Among those known to have died while working at HMRC are two officials who died after showing Covid symptoms in the spring of 2020.

Richard Lass, senior head of the HMRC in Stratford, and Rev. Sophia Auckland led the memorial service and dedicated the memorial at a reception in the building.

“Today we also remember our colleagues who died in the civil service. Their hard work and commitment to HMRC, its previous department and civil service will not be forgotten, ”Harra said.

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