Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Global Asset Recycling Programme

  1.  As part of its asset recycling and estate modernisation programmes, the FCO is selling properties in its overseas estate, which are vacant, surplus, not operationally effective, or not providing value for money. Under an agreement with HM Treasury, proceeds of the sales are ploughed back into modernisation of the FCO's estate.


  2.  The FCO sold property worth about £30 million in FY1999/2000 and about £18 million in FY2000/01. The properties involved are listed at Annex A. In the period FY2001/02 to FY2003/04, the FCO aims to sell property worth £100 million in over 60 posts. Properties currently proposed for sale are listed at Annex B.

  3.  Posts in which recent sales which have so far raised more than £1 million include:

    —  Bonn: Residence and senior staff properties

    —  Cairo: senior staff housing

    —  Dublin: Residence

    —  Kuala Lumpur: staff housing

    —  Lagos: land

    —  Munich: Residence

    —  Singapore: part of Residence grounds and staff house

Estate Sales in the United States

  4.  The estate in the USA was reviewed in 2001. So far in the financial year 2001/02 we have sold property in Washington and New York worth a total of £1.6 million. More sales, possibly worth over £30 million, are planned up to the end of FY 2003/04 in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Washington. Most of these properties will be replaced by rented or purchased properties at a reduced annual cost to the FCO.

  5.  In New York, we have signed a contract to purchase, on Manhattan, a new apartment, currently under construction, which will be fitted out to our specification for the Consul-General. This will replace his existing apartment, which will be marketed for sale early in 2002.

  6.  In San Francisco, we are looking for a replacement house for the Consul General which will not only provide better value for money than his current house, but will also better support the wider, particularly commercial, objectives of the Consulate-General. We intend to sell the present house when we have found a suitable replacement.


  7.  Some examples of recent and proposed estate investment projects are at Annex C.

Estate Strategy Unit

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

15 November 2001

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