Art space in £50m DfE refurb

A £50m tender to refurb the new Department for Education (DfE) HQ in London includes a gym and the creation of space for the government art collection, according to FE Week sister newspaper Academies Week.

The DfE announced in March that it was to leave the rented Sanctuary Buildings, in Victoria, and move its 1,600 staff to the Grade II-listed Old Admiralty Building (OAB), in Whitehall, by summer 2017. It claims the move will save £19m a year.

A tender for the refurbishment was put out last month offering the contract at a price tag of up to £50m, excluding VAT. It expects work, which will enable more staff to work in the building, to start next November.

Bidders are asked to provide details of their suitability to carry out work such as “full refurbishment of the gym” and “creation of space for the government art collection”.

The DfE said “no final decision” had been made on whether there would be a gym in the building and it was still in discussions about the artwork.

It also said refurbishment costs would be mainly met by the Cabinet Office through the sale of other government property. The size of the DfE contribution remains unclear.

Visit academiesweek.co.uk for more.