Metropolitan Police propose sale of New Scotland Yard HQ

LONDON’S police force could leave its iconic New Scotland Yard base in order to meet tough cost-cutting measures imposed by City Hall, it was revealed yesterday.

The Westminster building has been the force’s headquarters for 45 years but the Met says dramatic measures are needed if it is cut £500m from its existing £3.6bn annual budget by 2015.

Deputy commissioner Craig Mackey unveiled the proposal yesterday morning and said the building – which houses the Met’s top brass, as well as several specialist units – costs £11m a year in maintenance and needs a £50m upgrade to meet modern standards.

“It’s an expensive building to run and it’s an expensive building to maintain and as we go through this change programme it’s going to have space in it that we don’t need. In central London that’s an expensive luxury,” Mackey said.

The force could move to the Curtis Green building next to the Ministry of Defence on the Embankment, a smaller space that is already owned by the Metropolitan Police Authority.

Although New Scotland Yard was purpose built for the police, it only bought the freehold from Land Securities in 2008 for £124m.

Its famous rotating sign will be moved to the new location.