The government has sold off more than £2bn worth of property over the past year, the Cabinet Office said today.
The sales, of 339 sites totalling 2.99m sq ft, have generated £2.1bn and reduced the estate’s running costs by £50m. They continue a trend of disposals that have seen the government reduce the size of its estate by 30% since 2010.
The Ministry of Defence alone released 4,500 acres of land for development between 2015 and 2019.
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “With billions tied up in buildings and prime Whitehall real estate, selling sites is a great way to cut costs for taxpayers, at a time when the majority of voters want to see more central government offices and jobs moved outside of London.
“This should signal the start of a drive for departments to divest themselves of as much underused property as possible.”
In 2018, the government unveiled a new estate strategy, promising to quarter the size of its estate within 20 years.