Mayor secures major cash boost for frontline policing

09 December 2014

• Outdated HQ sold for £370m to Abu Dhabi Financial Group (ADFG) in biggest shake up of Met estate since 1960s
• Proceeds from sale to be invested in cutting-edge technology and a leaner, more modern estate
• Move to new Met HQ at Curtis Green building on Embankment already underway

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has unveiled plans to pump hundreds of millions of pounds into modernising frontline policing whilst preserving the unique heritage of the Metropolitan Police, as he signed the deal to sell New Scotland Yard for £370m.
 
In a landmark deal, the sale secured £120m more than the guide price and three times what was originally paid for the site freehold in 2008.

Proceeds from the sale will kick-start a major investment opportunity to secure the future of the Met Police, with the funds being used to kit out officers across London with mobile technology such as tablets, smartphones and body cameras, enabling them to spend more time out on the streets. It will also allow much-needed investment in the remaining estate along with modern ICT infrastructure and new software platforms.
 
The building is also home many unique artefacts and policing memorabilia dating back to the formation of the Metropolitan Police in 1829 none of which are currently on public display. The additional proceeds from the sale now means a small portion of money raised can be used to relocate this collection to a dedicated museum site, allowing visitors from the UK and around the world to see rare crime artefacts and heritage items that tell the history of Scotland Yard.

Marketed as ‘Ten Broadway’, the 1.7acre site, 600,000 square foot building attracted intense interest from around the world.  In the end there were 11 credible bids with ADFG, a multi-billion dollar alternative investment company based in Abu Dhabi, securing the deal. With a track record of financing major central London developments, including the 1 Palace Street project adjacent to Buckingham Palace, they now plan to create a mixed-use residential development on the site.

Headquarters of the Met Police since 1967, the out-dated building was put on the market by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) in September, for a guide price of £250m.   No longer fit for operational purposes the proceeds raised by the sale will be used to deliver on the Mayor’s commitment to balance the Met’s budget and keep police numbers high.  Once redeveloped and sold, the Victoria Street site is projected to yield up to one hundred million pounds in stamp duty receipts for the UK Exchequer.

This sale is part of an ongoing radical overhaul of the Met estate which has so far raised £215m through the sale of 52 under-used and outdated buildings. When completed in 2016, this restructure will save London’s police force over £60m in annual running costs - enough to fund 1,000 officers - and will leave behind a smaller, more modern estate, which will include a brand new training facility in Hendon and a world-class forensics lab and control centre in Lambeth.
 
The operational HQ of the Met is now on the move to the Curtis Green building on Victoria Embankment, owned by MOPAC and empty since late 2011. Currently undergoing a £58m transformation into a slimmed down HQ, this relocation alone will save the Met over £6m a year in running costs.
 
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “The Met Police has a unique place in history and they need a home fit for the future, but police budgets are under real pressure.  The sale of this under-used and outdated building means we can now not only protect that rich heritage, but also fund the new HQ and kit out bobbies with the latest mobile technology to secure the future of the force. This landmark deal allows us to preserve the past whilst giving today's Met a vital cash boost so our officers can go on keeping London safe.”
 
Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Stephen Greenhalgh said: “This deal shows that we were right to put bobbies before buildings. Only by taking the tough decisions to shrink the Met estate and instead focus resources on the frontline, are we now able to invest in the modern kit and technology the police need to fight crime in the twenty-first century. The Scotland Yard sale is a win for everyone - police officers get the investment in technology they need, Londoners get the modern, efficient police service they deserve, and the public purse gets a £100m windfall from stamp duty, helping to fund our schools and hospitals.”
 
Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: "Police funding continues to be under extreme pressure. We now expect to need to making savings of up to £1.4bn by the end of the next spending review, including some £600m which we will have delivered by 2015/16. This is equivalent to a third of the Met's original budget so this money is absolutely vital to us.
 
"It will allow us to reinvest in our remaining estate and in the technology needed to support our officers as they fight crime and support victims. It is only with this kind of intelligent investment that we will be able to do more with less."

Jane Bond, Director Metropolitan Police Service Property Services said: “The sale of Ten Broadway is the most significant step in the delivery of the MOPAC / MPS Estate Strategy, releasing substantial capital to reinvest in policing London. We have already raised £215m though the sale of 52 buildings, creating a smaller, more efficient and modern estate which allows us to focus resources on frontline policing.”

“Ten Broadway, built in the 1960s as New Scotland Yard, is surplus to operational requirement, costly to run and requires significant investment. The new, smaller Met HQ at Curtis Green will help deliver a 21st century police force. It’s an exciting move for the Met allowing us to save money while improving our estate.”

Jassim Alseddiqi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Financial Group, said: “Ten Broadway will be one of the most important redevelopment projects undertaken in Central London this decade, replacing a world famous headquarters with a world class development. With the bid process now complete, we look forward to creating an exceptional new landmark for London.”

Notes to editors

• Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, ADFG is a multi-billion dollar alternative investment firm with operations encompassing investments, asset management, advisory and research, financing and structuring solutions, and real estate development. ADFG is a pioneer in alternative investments with a focus on financial services, real estate and debt.

• In November 2014, ADFG announced the completion of a £310 million (AED 1.8 billion) financing deal for the redevelopment of 1 Palace Street, situated in prime Central London adjacent to Buckingham Palace. With an expected completion date of 2017, this development will comprise 72 luxury apartments, a prominent restaurant and lavish health and fitness facilities within its 271,051 square feet.

• The sale of New Scotland Yard was handled by Jones Lang LaSalle.

• Scotland Yard as the home of the Metropolitan Police Service has moved several times before – from Whitehall Place to Great Scotland Yard in 1875, to the Norman Shaw building in 1890 and to the current building in 1967.  This future move therefore marks a return to nearer its founding location.

• The freehold of New Scotland Yard was bought in 2008 for £123.5m. It would have cost in excess of £50m to bring the building back up to standard.

• The Curtis Green Building (1935-40) was designed by William Curtis Green architect as an annex to the former New Scotland Yard (now the Norman Shaw building). It was occupied by the MPS after the Second World War to house the MPS forensics and other technology departments. It became in due course a police station - known popularly by its telephone number of "Whitehall 1212", before in 1985, becoming home to the HQ of MPS Territorial Policing. The building was vacated in late 2011.

• The Estate Strategy, launched last year, is available atwww.london.gov.uk/priorities/policing-crime  and covers plans for 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 private sectors for space efficiency and modern working. Combines 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.

• When MOPAC began the overhaul of the police estate it was vast and expensive, with almost 500 buildings, costing £203 million a year to run. Since March 2013, 52  under-used sites have been sold and 55  leaseholds terminated. This has already generated £215 million in capital receipts.  Overall up to 200 buildings will be sold by 2016/17 – the vast majority of which have no public access. Each borough in London retains at least one 24/7 police station under these plans and over 100 new contact points have been established to help maintain public access

• The renewed Curtis Green building has been designed by world renowned architects AHMM and engineered by Arup, following a RIBA design competition to find the most suitable and financially viable proposal for the building. It will be built by contractors BAM.
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