More than 2,000 jobs are set to come to the York Central development as part of a new government hub.
Ian Gray, project director for York Central, said discussions were well underway to bring 2,250 cabinet office jobs to the site, which is the largest brownfield development in the country.
Mr Gray said there had been a high level of government interest in York Central, first seen publicly when Boris Johnson floated the idea of making the area a temporary home for the House of Lords last summer.
Mr Gray said the plans, which were later dismissed by parliamentary authorities who cited “constitutional implications”, were “serious” and said that a feasibility study had even been drawn up to consider whether it would be possible to move both the House of Commons and House of Lords to York Central.
During an project update to City of York councillors, he said: “I had a very strange conversation sitting in the cabinet office talking about how you can’t relocate one with relocating the other – and black rod cant come by train.
“We looked at mapping out exactly how you would fit both Houses of Parliament on the site. We did actually look at it and some of it has continued to help us around the priority the government sees of the location and it’s helping us with the potential government hub.”
Earmarked a site
Mr Gray said the government had their eyes on a site that will front onto the new museum square.
Network Rail and Homes England own 95 per cent of the land at York Central, but Mr Gray said it had been made clear to him that ultimately, it was the government that owned the land.
The Cabinet Office already has a small presence at the vetting agency at Imphal Barracks, but Tracey Carter, director of housing, economy and regeneration at the council, said the government hub would increase its presence “significantly”.
She revealed that there had been interest from other government departments in the site, but could not give more details due to an upcoming meeting with officials.
Taking questions from councillors, Ms Carter and Mr Gray both said they understood that the government wanted the hub to recruit people from York, rather than just relocating people from London.
Ms Carter said: “They will capture a broader skills pool of people from the regions. They will create career pathways to enable those people to have a full, varied career in the civil service without having to be based in London and therefore these are job opportunities for people who live in York and the surrounding areas.”
The York Central development includes 2,500 new homes; up to £1.2 million square feet of commercial development and improved visitor access to the National Railway Museum, and is expected to boost York’s economy by £1.16bn.