Competition launched to design new Met HQ

20 May 2013

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson and the Metropolitan Police Service (Met) today announced that they are joining forces with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to give architects the opportunity to design the Met Police’s new headquarters.

Under major plans to update its underused and outmoded estate and reinvest the savings in frontline policing, the Met is selling off its current headquarters, New Scotland Yard (NSY). Today ( Monday 20th May2013), it was announced that the former Whitehall police station on Victoria Embankment - known as the Curtis Green Building and owned by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) – will become ‘Scotland Yard’, the Met’s new headquarters in 2015 and will host the famous revolving sign.

The cost of the Met remaining in New Scotland Yard would run into the tens of millions of pounds, with £50 million needed to bring the outdated facilities up to the condition where they were fit for purpose for modern operational policing, and annual running costs of £11 million. The Curtis Green site which has been empty for two years, and is in the heart of Westminster, will be an exemplar of modern day policing facilities. The competition with RIBA will invite architects from around the world to produce a design which will help transform the building into a modern, well equipped and efficient new Headquarters fit for the 21st century.

The move from NSY forms just one part of this milestone strategy which also details plans to exit around 300,000 square metres (one third) of MOPAC’s estate over the next three years. This will save £85 million per year on running costs by 2015/16 (compared to 2009) and £60 million will be reinvested in the estate and infrastructure to support the frontline and help keep officer numbers high.

The plan announced by the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime Stephen Greenhalgh and the Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey will also provide up to 950 modern cells to help reduce the time it takes to process people in custody and the sale of up to 200 buildings - the vast majority of which have no public access.

Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Stephen Greenhalgh said:

'Selling off underutilised and unoccupied buildings will cut the running costs of the Met's estate by £60 million, which will pay for 1200 extra police officers across London's boroughs over the next three ears.

'This strategy should generate at least £300 million, which will be ploughed back into the remaining buildings so that a run down, largely Victorian police estate is fit for the 21st century.'

Deputy Commissioner of the MPS, Craig Mackey said:

'This is the most significant transformation of the police estate in the history of the MPS. The changes proposed will help us to save on running costs and sell properties that are no longer required, allowing us to invest in modern facilities that are fit for our officers, staff and the public.'

ENDS

Notes to editors

  • The estate has vast and expensive, with almost 500 buildings, costing £203 million a year to run.
  • The strategy covers the entire MOPAC estate including police stations, forensic labs, firing ranges, training grounds, horse and dog centres, offices and custody facilities. It draws on the best examples from both the public and private sectors for space efficiency and modern working. Combined with investment in new and refurbished buildings, this will ensure the Met has a modern, well equipped and efficient estate suitable for current and future policing.
  • Developed by MOPAC, the strategy will deliver a more cost effective and higher quality buildings, which meet the operational needs of a world class twenty first century service, whilst also helping them to focus resources on police officers and not buildings.
  • The full strategy is available on Monday 20th May at 10am at www.london.gov.uk/priorities/policing-crime
  • Further details about how to register for the Curtis Green Building design competition are available at www.architecture.com/competitions under the link ‘Live competitions to enter’. The deadline for receipt of expressions of interest is 2pm on Tuesday 4 June 2013.