The Cabinet Office has announced an acceleration of plans to relocate 22,000 civil service jobs from London to various cities and towns across the UK, advancing the original target from 2030 to 2027.

John Glen, the newly appointed minister for the Cabinet Office, revealed the expedited goal, expressing his intent to explore the possibility of increasing the overall job relocation target.

Glen emphasised that the government has exceeded its initial aim, aiming to attract talent from all corners of the UK, fostering a more efficient and representative civil service.

The government’s commitment to this initiative was formalised in the 2020 launch of the Places for Growth programme, with the pledge to move 22,000 jobs by 2030, including 15,000 by 2025. Surpassing expectations, over 16,000 jobs have already been relocated, exceeding the 2025 target two years ahead of schedule.

A “second headquarters” outside London

Glen also announced that three key government departments – the Department for Business and Trade, the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, and the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero – will establish “second headquarters” outside London. This strategic move aims to bring these departments closer to the industries they oversee.

Earlier this year, an internal report revealed that McKinsey, the consulting firm, advised the Cabinet Office on the potential relocation of around 60,000 civil service and wider public-sector roles from London and the southeast under the Places for Growth programme.

“Government shouldn’t just be around Whitehall,” Glen asserted. “There’s a lot of appetite for people to live outside of London – often the quality of life is better, the opportunities for balancing life with family life, and less commuting are favoured.”

Addressing the benefits of geographic diversity, Glen stated that drawing from a wider pool of talent is a priority for the government, anticipating observable changes in decision-making patterns over time.

What does the future hold?

Wrexham is set to receive an influx of 300 additional civil service jobs, contributing to the 30,000 UK government civil servants already working in Wales. The Department of Work and Pensions will hire 270 more officials in the Welsh city, while the Ministry of Justice plans to place 50 roles in Wrexham instead of London.

The Cabinet Office estimates that the Places for Growth programme generates £30 million in economic benefits per 1,000 roles relocated, citing increased footfall and spending from relocated staff. However, earlier this year, MPs accused the department of exaggerating achievements and failing to clearly present the evidence base for the program’s claimed economic benefits.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.