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HM Revenue & Customs Change Programme

The Review Process

The Regional Review Programme was designed to support HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) plans to modernise and transform its operations by matching work, offices and accommodation needs throughout the UK. This demanded a radical re-think of how people and work were organised on the ground. It was a huge and complex task, involving many thousands of people in over 300 locations.

The programme of reviews started in November 2006 and the ‘feasibility’ phase was completed in December 2008. Throughout the programme HMRC remained committed to retaining enquiry centre services either within their current building or at alternative premises nearby.

The outcomes of the reviews are now be taken forward into the ‘implementation’ phase.

The Review Programme

A rolling programme of reviews looked at initial proposals for areas within each region. The reviews included formal consultation with staff and unions, and considered the impact on customers. HMRC developed arrangements for engaging with a wide range of external stakeholders including local authorities. We used the nine Government Office Regions (London, South East, South West, East, East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire and The Humber, North West, North East) and the three devolved administrations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) as a basis for planning the reviews.

Each review was carried out in three phases:

Phase 1

This is the ‘Diagnostic’ phase during which we work with our businesses to develop an initial set of proposals for the future of office locations, in line with business plans.

Phase 2

This is the ‘Feasibility’ phase where we engage in more detailed consideration of the business requirements while consulting with staff and unions on the initial set of proposals from Phase 1. We also write to relevant local authorities to ask for their views. We then publish a summary of the main views expressed by staff and unions and make this available to MPs and other external stakeholders. The points raised in consultation will be taken into account when decisions are made at the end of this phase.

Phase 3

This is the 'Implementation' phase when we put the decisions into action.

The Review Locations

In order to undertake the reviews our offices were divided into three categories of location:

Urban Centres

There are 25 'Urban Centres', made up of large towns or cities and a 'ring' of other towns within 15–16 miles (25 kilometres) of them. These are locations where HMRC already has a major presence across a number of business directorates and employs a significant number of permanent staff. Together, these sites account for three quarters of all our staff and around 300 buildings. Urban Centre Reviews were completed between August 2006 and April 2008. Full list of Urban Centres.


Outside of urban centres there over 60 'Clusters' of towns which are in the main within a 15 16 miles (25km) concentration. Cluster Reviews were completed between March 2008 and December 2008. List of Clusters and the towns in each cluster.

Individual locations

There are a number of 'Individual locations' – towns that are more than 15-16 miles (25km) from other HMRC offices. Some of these have been identified as being strategic because they provide a geographically based presence to service customers. Individual Location Reviews were completed between March 2008 and December 2008. Full list of Individual locations.

A-Z list of Locations

The outcome of each review has already been announced. The Regional Review Programme A-Z of Locations gives details of the decisions made for each HMRC office building.