More than 1000 UK civil service jobs are due to be relocated to Scotland in the coming years, ministers have announced.
As well as the previously-announced Cabinet Office headquarters in Glasgow, more than 500 Foreign Office jobs will move to the department’s existing base in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said the move will “co-locate the engine room of the UK Government in Scotland”.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the relocated jobs will ensure the civil service “represents all parts of the UK”.
The 500 additional roles will bring the Foreign Office’s staff in East Kilbride to 1500 by 2025.
The announcements come as the Scottish Conservatives hold their virtual spring conference ahead of Holyrood elections in May.
Gove said: “The Cabinet Office’s new HQ in Glasgow will co-locate the engine room of the UK Government in Scotland, bringing decision-makers closer to the communities they serve and ensuring closer collaboration between Scotland’s two governments as we tackle the Covid-19 pandemic together and work to build a sustainable recovery.
“Not only will this bring new jobs and investment to Scotland, it will strengthen the diversity of the UK civil service, ending the Westminster knows best approach to policymaking and ensuring Scottish voices shape everything we do.”
Raab added: “There can be no clearer demonstration of commitment to our joint HQ in East Kilbride than today’s announcement that an extra 500 Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office jobs are coming to Scotland. This will further ensure the civil service represents all parts of the UK and will be a boost to the Scottish economy.
“Staff at Abercrombie House are at the forefront of delivering the UK’s diplomatic clout, as we prepare to host the G7 and Cop26, while supporting the delivery of our £10 billion aid budget to continue helping the world’s poorest people.”
The East Kilbride building was previously home to the Department for International Development (Dfid) before it was merged into the Foreign Office.
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “It is great news that hundreds more UK Government civil service jobs will be moving to Scotland, along with the creation of a second UK Government base.
“It will join the flagship Queen Elizabeth House in Edinburgh as a demonstration of our unwavering commitment to strengthening the United Kingdom.”
SNP MSP George Adam said: “Since 2010 the Tories have axed 7,000 civil service jobs in Scotland.
“In a period of Westminster austerity, the UK government chose to disproportionately slash jobs north of the border – today’s announcement is a drop in the ocean against the backdrop of these widescale cuts.
“The Tories know that if people vote SNP in May then a fresh referendum is coming – they wouldn’t be spending so much time relocating Whitehall staff to Scotland if they didn’t.”
GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said the jobs and investment are welcome, but “won’t resolve the many deep rooted problems that exist”.
He added: “It makes sense for the civil service to be spread out. You can’t level up a country if its jobs and wealth are concentrated in a few areas, and Glasgow and the west certainly needs levelling up.”
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