St Helens tax office is close with its functions moving to Liverpool as part of a major shake-up across the region, it was announced today.
The move will impact dozens of workers at the College Street office, although it is unclear whether any jobs will be lost.
The new regional centres in Liverpool and Manchester will bring our staff together in more modern and cost-effective buildings in areas with lower rentsLin Homer, chief executive of HM Revenue and Customs
Most staff will be expected to move to a new regional centre in Liverpool.
Lin Homer, chief executive of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), said the St Helens office would shut by 2018.
She said: “HMRC is committed to modern, regional centres serving every region and nation in the UK, with skilled and varied jobs and development opportunities, while also ensuring jobs are spread throughout the UK and not concentrated in the capital.
“HMRC has too many expensive, isolated and outdated offices. This makes it difficult for us to collaborate, modernise our ways of working, and make the changes we need to transform our service to customers and clamp down further on the minority who try to cheat the system.
“The new regional centres in Liverpool and Manchester will bring our staff together in more modern and cost-effective buildings in areas with lower rents.
“They will also make a big contribution to the economy of the North West region providing high-quality, skilled jobs and supporting the
Government’s commitment to a national recovery that benefits all parts of the UK.”
A HMRC spokesman added: “HMRC’s workforce in the region is currently spread throughout 24 offices, many of which are a legacy of the 1960s and 1970s, which range in size from around 1770 people to fewer than 15.
By bringing them together in large, modern offices, equipped with digital infrastructure and training facilities, HMRC will support more skilled jobs and varied career paths up to senior levels with less need to move around the country.
HMRC expects between 2,800 and 3,100 full-time equivalent employees to work in the Liverpool regional centre and between 5,600 and 5,900 full-time equivalent employees to work in the Manchester centre.
HMRC will close most of its existing offices in the North West by 2020-21, as it moves most employees into the new regional centres.
Where offices are a long way from a regional centre and it is not possible for employees to move to work in one, HMRC will do everything it reasonably can to help them to find new roles, either elsewhere in the civil service, or outside, in order to minimise redundancies.”
In total, 24 offices in the North West will close including, St Helens, Warrington and Bolton.