Peterborough Land Registry to stay open

300 jobs at Peterborough's Land Registry office have been saved.

Ministers had been planning to close the site by 2011  - but after a consultation with staff they have now announced it will be staying open.

Peterborough's MP Stewart Jackson has been campaigning to save it - he has been telling Heart it is great news for the city:

"We really didn't need any further good quality jobs lost. That's why it was absolutely imperative that we really put a strong case to ministers.

"The work force can now drink a glass of champagne tonight and congratulate themselves on a job well done...

"I think they misapplied the Lyons Review, which said government buildings needed to be moved out of the South East and into the rest of the country. They bracketed Peterborough as part of the South East, which of course it isn't...in terms of its economy it's much more like the East Midlands or West Yorkshire, for instance.

"We do have high unemployment, 10.4% male unemployment. I don't think the case was ever remotely made for closing the Land Registry Office here.

"The good news is those jobs are now safe...it's a fantastic result and I'm extremely happy about it."

Staff will be moving to smaller offices before the lease on their current building expires in 2013.

The Land Registry Offices in Portsmouth, Stevenage and Tunbridge Wells are all still set to close as part of the programme to save £500 million over the next 10 years.

The organisation currently employs 6,300 staff - which is set to reduce to 4,200 by 2014.

Marco Pierleoni, Chief Land Registrar and Chief Executive said:

"We have listened carefully to the views expressed during our consultation...

"We will continue to work to better understand the needs of our customers and harness technology to build services around those needs.

"We will employ fewer people and occupy less estate as more of our work is delivered online and we will continue to create a comprehensive register and develop add-value services. In order to protect the integrity of the register and deliver our strategy, we will continue to invest in the skills of our workforce."

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