Hundreds of government jobs are set to be created in the West Midlands.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced it plans to have a dual head office in Wolverhampton and at least 500 staff will be based across the West Midlands by 2025.
A specific location in the city is yet to be announced for the new hub which will have senior civil servants and ministers, making it the first such office outside of the capital with a regular ministerial presence.
Recruitment has already started and 40 staff have relocated over the past 12 months to the region, adding to the 300 Ministry of Housing employees already based in the West Midlands.
The move is part of wider plans to have at least 800 roles in the department outside of London by 2030, including 50 per cent of the most senior positions.
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The Ministry of Housing said it signalled a culture change in the civil service to give a stronger voice to communities as part of the Government’s so-called levelling up agenda aimed at shifting investment away from London to the regions.
This latest announcement mirrors similar moves in recent years which has seen HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions agree a major office deal on the Arena Central estate in Birmingham for its West Midlands hub, due to open this year.
And in 2019, the Government confirmed it would be creating a new multi-department hub with 1,700 civil servants at the Platform 21 building, which is next to Birmingham New Street station and currently undergoing a major renovation programme.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “I am determined to spread opportunity and prosperity to every part of our nation.
“That is why I am delighted to be taking the historic step of moving significant numbers of senior roles out of Whitehall and creating the first ever ministerial office outside of Westminster in Wolverhampton, increasing the jobs in the Midlands to over 500.
“With a dual headquarters in Wolverhampton, my department will not only change where we work but how we work, signalling the end of the Whitehall-knows-best approach.
“All of us at the department are looking forward to having the opportunity to work there.
“In choosing the city of Wolverhampton, we are also backing our great smaller cities, some of which have been neglected for too long.”