Decision to open new regional HMRC centre in Portsmouth saving 900 jobs welcomed as ‘really good news’ for ‘delighted’ staff

NEWS that 900 Portsmouth jobs will be saved following HMRC’s decision to open a new regional centre in the area has been welcomed by public representatives across the city.

Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 8:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 2:55 pm

Although the tax office at Lynx House, Cosham was set to close by 2026, it has now been confirmed that 900 jobs are no longer at stake as Portsmouth becomes the new home for HMRC’s regional centre.

Stephen Morgan, MP for Portsmouth South, said: ‘I welcome HMRC’s commitment to establish a regional centre in Portsmouth, and potentially retain Lynx House, although I will be seeking urgent clarification about what this means for jobs.

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HMRC confirms long-term presence in Portsmouth and East Kilbride. Pictured: Mark Sheridan - Regional Implementation Lead and Senior Sponsor Claire McGuckin at HMRC Office, Lynx House, Cosham. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘I have long-argued that closing Lynx House would be a disaster for local people and our city’s economy. That’s why I have been lobbying Ministers to protect these jobs from government cuts, liaising with trade unions, meeting with staff affected and raising concerns in Westminster.

‘At a time when workload was due to rise five-fold, the threat to close Lynx House showed poor foresight and planning. I am pleased our city will now be one of the government’s regional centres.’

MP for Portsmouth North, Penny Mordaunt, said: ‘I’m delighted that Portsmouth will become a permanent tax office. We have just important skills in our city so it is good news for the whole South eastern service as well as securing hundreds of jobs for our city.

‘I am also talking to DWP about its estate plans. It is vital we keep such opportunities here.’

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of Portsmouth City Council, also welcomed the announcement as ‘really good news’.

He said: ‘After years and years of them taking jobs away, it’s great that they changed their minds.

‘Congratulations to the union for changing people’s minds.

‘It means that the government isn't continuously centralising jobs.

‘For the council, it is two wins because we are also the landlord - the rent that we get for Lynx House pays for council services.’

Dave Hansford, chairman of the Portsmouth Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union branch at Lynx House, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted - we’ve been campaigning for six years since HMRC did their great big Building Our Future plans. Our office was due to close in March 2026.

‘We have got the support of the council and we have met with both the city MPs. We are under no doubt that the work which we did has really influenced the decision.

‘The decision from HMRC to make Portsmouth the 14th regional centre is really good news.

‘It also means quite a lot to the city - these things have a knock on effect in the community.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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