In March 2018, the 20-year contract covering the majority of DWPs current estate of over 900 sites came to an end. This presented an opportunity to re-evaluate what we needed from our estate. The increased use of our online services in recent years, coupled with reductions in unemployment and improved efficiency, meant that 20% of the rent being paid by DWP was going toward space we were not using.
Given this, it is right that we reconfigure our Jobcentre estate and make the jobcentres fit for the 21st century. This is not about reducing services, but about taking the opportunity to stop spending money on empty space so we can spend more on supporting those in need.
On 5 July 2017, the Department for Work and Pensions confirmed that some smaller jobcentres would merge with larger ones, and others would be co-located in local government premises. Merging our staff and services from some smaller or underutilised jobcentres, into larger jobcentres nearby, makes better use of space and reduces costs to the taxpayer while still maintaining the same excellent level of customer service.
We are committed to retaining a jobcentre network and continuing to serve people in all areas of the UK to make sure they can continue to access the tailored services they need.
The attached list contains the information requested.