Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Met Moves out to the Embankment

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Met Moves out to the Embankment

Article excerpt

Byline: Justin Davenport Crime Editor

THE headquarters of the Met is set to be sold in a radical [pounds sterling]500 million costcutting plan, it was announced today. The force is planning to move its New Scotland Yard headquarters to a smaller site on the Embankment. It is part of a drive to axe dozens of police stations and buildings.

Estate agents say the sale of the Sixties-built block in Victoria could raise [pounds sterling]150 million for the cash strapped force. The block, surrounded by concrete blast barriers to protect it from terrorist attack, has been home to the Met since 1967 and is famous for its revolving sign. Senior officers say if the move goes ahead the sign will be switched to the new building.

The Met is planning to move to the Curtis Green building, the former HQ of Territorial Policing and once the site of Cannon Row police station.

The site is located yards from the Ministry of Defence and Downing Street. A property company had agreed to pay [pounds sterling]30 million for it but the Met pulled out at the last minute. Police say the present 20-storey building costs [pounds sterling]11 million a year to run and needs [pounds sterling]50 million in maintenance The force's senior command is based in the building as are a number of the Yard's most secretive and elite squads, including the Counter Terrorist Command.

The new HQ will be stripped down and operational squads moved out. The new building can house 600 people compared to the 3,000 or so who work in New Scotland Yard.

The sale has been agreed by Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe who says final plans to meet the budget cuts will be announced by Christmas.

Senior officers have drawn up plans to meet government spending cuts of [pounds sterling]500million in the Met's annual [pounds sterling]3.6 billion budget by the year 2015. Police also plan to close and sell off dozens of London police stations, many of them older Victorian buildings, in an effort to save [pounds sterling]60 million a year in running costs. Senior officers are pledging to open three new "access points" or front counters for every station they shut. …

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