GVA was nationally retained as sole acquisition adviser by specialist outsourcing organisation, Telereal Trillium, to procure new office accommodation for its customer, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), under the terms of its ‘PRIME’ outsourcing PFI contract.
Up to circa 400,000 sq m (c4 million sq ft) of accommodation was potentially to be acquired in up to 400 locations across the mainland UK over a three year period, in one of the largest ever office acquisition projects of its kind.
The requirements were primarily for the Government’s Job Centre Plus initiative, in order to provide significantly improved customer facing facilities and to consolidate existing Employment Service and Benefits Agency functions. The brief also incorporated provision of additional DWP administration functions, including a range of new customer contact centres.
Properties were secured in a variety of city centre and edge of town, retail and office locations nationwide. Searches were completed in locations from Stornoway to the Isle of Wight.
In addition to agency advice, other GVA acquisition services provided included planning, building consultancy and management advice.
How GVA added value
The challenge with this instruction was to source cost effective, Disability Discrimination Act compliant accommodation with accessibility to public transport services, in a very wide range of locations.
Close liaison between the GVA and Telereal Trillium Acquisition Teams was of paramount importance in order to ensure a co-ordinated approach to the acquisition process.
A dedicated website was set up at the outset to hold information on the status of individual searches, the basis of terms offered and the terms agreed for completed acquisitions.
The initial Job Centre Plus acquisition programme was concluded by March 2006. A number of additional search and acquisitions were also completed during 2009 and 2010.