HMRC plans ‘state-of-the-art intelligence centre’ for new Stratford base

An artist's impression of the Westfield Avenue building that HMRC will occupy from late 2020

An artist's impression of the Westfield Avenue building that HMRC will occupy from late 2020 - Credit: HMRC

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is moving to Stratford - but not until 2020.

The UK tax authority confirmed today that it has signed a 25-year lease for a 240,000 sq ft office space over eight floors inside 12-storey building 14 Westfield Avenue.

Accomodating 3,800 existing HMRC employees, the commercial property will be located in the heart of Stratford, next to Westfield Stratford City and a short distance away from local transport connections.

The move will see the creation of a “state-of-the-art intelligence centre” in addition to a regional hub for employees working in customer service, compliance and large business.

HMRC has confirmed several of its offices in London and the South East will close as a result of its plan for 13 “modern” regional centres around the UK.

In addition to cutting costs, the restructure will fewer roles in London and a move towards digital services and working.

Company chief executive Jon Thompson said: “HMRC has a long-established presence in London and this regional centre in Stratford marks the next step in HMRC’s transformation into a modern, digitally-advanced tax authority.

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He added: “As part of the process we will see around 3,800 staff come together in state-of-the-art facilities, and make HMRC an important contributor to the economy and communities in and around Stratford.”

Westfield Avenue is the ninth lease that HMRC has signed and ground work on the building has already started.

A cabinet office spokesperson said: “We are investing in multi-departmental hubs across the UK so that even more civil servants will be able to work in modern, flexible office space.

“Hubs will operate in London and around the country, empowering civil servants to work in smarter ways to deliver better public services from every corner of the UK.”

“Stratford will also be home to a new customer laboratory to help HMRC test new services with customers, for example, by observing how they interact with the tax authority online.

“The department has worked closely with colleagues in customer compliance to ensure that Stratford will be a state-of-the-art intelligence centre, with all the security specification that involves.”

Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales said: “This is a further exciting development for Stratford and wider Newham.

“The decision to bring over 3,000 HMRC staff to Stratford is a vote of confidence in this borough and its residents. Our job brokerage service, Workplace, will look to work closely with HMRC to maximise any employment opportunities for our residents.

“HMRC joins other high profile employers like TfL, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) who have opted to make Stratford their home.

“With a young workforce, unrivalled transport links and rapidly improving infrastructure, Newham is a fantastic place to establish a business.”