New Scotland Yard HQ to highest bidder

2012-10-30 16:52
New Scotland Yard has been on London's Victoria Street since 1967. (Akira Suemori, File/AP)

New Scotland Yard has been on London's Victoria Street since 1967. (Akira Suemori, File/AP)

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London - London's cash-strapped police force may sell its New Scotland Yard headquarters as part of plans to save £500m.

The 1960s-era complex in the Victoria district could fetch between £150-200m, property agents said. The Metropolitan Police bought the block from Land Securities in 2008 for £122m.

The possible sale is part of a wider cost-cutting drive to shrink the force's 900 000m² estate by one third by 2016, the Met said in an e-mailed statement.

"We won't keep older buildings any longer than we need to...Our plans relate to all areas of the estate, including all HQ buildings and potentially moving New Scotland Yard from its current location," a spokesperson said, adding that no final decision had been made.

The 20-storey block, surrounded by concrete blast barriers and famous for its revolving sign, will need £50m for maintenance over the next few years, the police said.

Should the sale go ahead, it may move its headquarters to a smaller building in the Westminster district.

The Victoria neighbourhood has been targeted by redevelopers including Land Securities, which is building prime offices, shops and over 200 homes in the district.

Last week, the government sold Admiralty Arch, a gateway between The Mall and Trafalgar Square in London, for £60m to Spanish investor Rafael Serrano as part of a cost-cutting drive.

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