HMRC’s Birmingham regional centre and UK Government hub has been formally opened by Jim Harra, HMRC’s first permanent secretary and chief executive.
The new site at 3 Arena Central is home to 4,600 civil servants, including around 3,500 from HMRC. Joining them at the 22,500m2 office are civil servants from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Valuation Office Agency (VOA).
Spread across 13 floors, the “modern and inclusive” working space will enable improved collaboration and smarter working, according to HMRC.
Civil servants began moving into the regional hub on 9 August 2021, though the formal opening took place yesterday (30 June) as Harra unveiled the plaque to an audience of local dignitaries and HMRC staff.
Following the opening of the regional centre, HMRC will maintain a presence at its West Midlands office at Telford Plaza, which is home to close to 750 employees.
Harra said: “Birmingham is a vibrant, growing city, and one that’s soon to welcome both athletes and fans from around the world when hosting the Commonwealth Games. I am delighted to mark the opening of our regional centre and UK Government hub at 3 Arena Central.
“This development is an important part of HMRC’s transformation into a modern and digitally-advanced tax authority and cements our position as an important contributor to the economy and communities in and around Birmingham and the West Midlands.”
He added: “The inclusive and flexible working environment has brought our people together and will create greater opportunities for collaboration to make it easier to deliver great services to our customers.”
The Birmingham Lord Mayor, Cllr Maureen Cornish, was also in attendance, as were Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chair of the HMRC Board, Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s deputy chief executive and second permanent secretary, Aneen Blackmore, VOA’s chief corporate services officer, and Gemma Brown, DWP’s deputy director of Counter Fraud, Compliance and Debt.
Cornish said: “It was a pleasure to be at the opening of the new Government Regional Hub in Birmingham. It’s a brilliant new office with great modern facilities that will allow the thousands of Civil Servants based there to deliver work for the communities they serve.
“Seeing HMRC and the UK Government show their commitment to Birmingham with the new hub, right in the heart of one of the city’s newest developments, is a real endorsement for Birmingham and its vibrant business sector.”