London Mayor Sadiq Khan has proposed moving the headquarters of the Greater London Assembly from City Hall in a bid to save £55m in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.
Khan today announced a consultation on plans to move from the Norman Foster-designed building near Tower Bridge to the Crystal Building in the Royal Docks.
The move would save the GLA £55m over a five year period at a time when the body faces a budget shortfall of £493m over the next two years.
Khan warned that the financial shortfall will lead to significant budget cuts across all of the GLA’s services, including public transport, the London Fire Brigade and the Met Police.
The lease for the current building was granted in 2001, with the contract allowing a break after 20 years.
Notice of the decision to move would have to be given by September if the move is to go ahead, City Hall said in a statement.
Khan said: “My first priority will always be to protect funding for front-line services, including public transport, the Met Police and the London Fire Brigade.
“That’s why I’m consulting on plans for the GLA to leave the current City Hall building next year and relocate to The Crystal at the Royal Docks in Newham.
Currently the GLA pays £11.1m a year to Kuwaiti-owned landlords St Martin’s for its headquarters.
Khan also said that the move could help with the regeneration of east London.
Over the next 20 years, 20,000 homes are set to be built and 60,000 jobs created in the area, coinciding with the delivery of the new Elizabeth tube line.
Newham mayor Rokhsana Fiaz said: “I’m delighted that City Hall could be relocating to the iconic Crystal Building in the Royal Docks in Newham.
“The stunning Royal Docks, with a water area of nearly 250 acres, is at the heart of one of the most exciting renovation developments in the capital, bringing more jobs, housing and a thriving new business district to East London”.