Public Sector: Met Police in agency hunt for estate brief

The Metropolitan Police Service is searching for an agency to handle a brief worth more than half-a-million pounds as it looks to revamp its police stations.

The work will revolve around the force's real estate major change programme, in which some of its 900 buildings are being sold, renewed or redeveloped to meet modern needs. The real estate brief will last at least three years and is worth between £600,000 and £800,000.

According to a document seen by PRWeek, agencies would be required to oversee 'consultation and communication with stakeholders' as the scheme is rolled out.

The process was given final approval in 2010 and has so far seen 28 buildings - including but not limited to police stations - approved for sale. The document adds that the force needs 'specialist comms' support, specifically around local community communication for town planning applications.

A police spokesman said: 'The MPS is reviewing the whole of the property estate to ensure we are making best use of it and identifying efficiency savings that can be reinvested into operational policing.'

News of the brief comes as PRWeek can reveal that the service has seen a low-level cutback on its in-house comms team and is set to lower its spending on media and comms handling.

In-house comms staff have been reduced from 76 in 2008-09 to 69 last year, and a comms reshuffle is also currently under way following the resignation of press chief Dick Fedorcio earlier this year.

The department for public affairs' media, publicity and internal comms budgets have dropped from £6.7m in 2010-11 to £6.3m in 2011-12. Spending in 2009-10 was £5.8m.

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