Hillbreak appointed by BCO to research Civil Service Government Hubs Programme

Hillbreak has been appointed by the British Council for Offices (BCO) as part of a consortium led by Sweett Group, the provider of professional services for the construction and management of building and infrastructure projects, to provide multidisciplinary professional services on a 4-year research study on the Civil Service Government Hubs Programme. Other specialists in the consortium include Workplace Strategy, Ramidus and Unwork.

The government estate comprises around 8.6M m² and offices make up approximately half of this space. The rationalisation programme will create multi-departmental hubs in around 18-20 strategic locations across the country. The requirement for space will fall between 25,000m²-60,000m² and the new hubs will typically be Grade A office space which meets BREEAM Excellent standard.

In addition to the financial savings from consolidating into large, strategically located office hubs, a key aim is to provide buildings which enable and promote new and collaborative ways of working across government. The objective is to minimise the long-term cost of occupying the government’s office estate whilst obtaining modern fit-for-purpose accommodation which will be a positive influencer in the drive to reform the Civil Service.

Jenny MacDonnell, Director of Research and Policy at the BCO said: “We are delighted to work in partnership with the Government Property Unit (GPU) on this extensive research study. The BCO recognises this project has the potential to be the largest and most influential study of its kind within the UK and, potentially, globally”.

Miles Keeping, Director & Co-Founder of Hillbreak, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be involved in this exciting and influential project which offers a rare opportunity to assess excellent case study information on the effects of property decision-making on organisational efficiency and the wellbeing of workforces. Hillbreak’s involvement will focus on identifying how the wellbeing of office workers is affected by decisions made about the buildings they work in. Working with GPU and the BCO on this great programme will hopefully enable us to help the property industry to play a fundamental part in improving the effectiveness of organisations.”

Sweett Group Regional Managing Director for London and the South East, Alan Manuel said: “We are enormously proud to play such an integral role on this major research study that will add immense value to the government’s estate across the country. The transformation project will not only influence significant cost savings, but it will also have a positive impact on health, wellbeing and productivity in the workplace.”