The national agency responsible for advising the Government on libraries and museums is relocating from London to Birmingham.
It was announced that the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council will move to city centre offices at Bennetts Hill.
The MLA is taking advantage of cheaper rental charges outside of the capital by taking a 10-year lease on 7,924 sq ft across two floors of Grosvenor House, at £16 a square foot. The move is due to be completed by the end of the summer.
It is the latest relocation since publication in 2004 of a review for the Government by Sir Michael Lyons, the former chief executive of Birmingham City Council, which recommended moving thousands of civil servants out of London to other major UK cities.
So far, 15,000 Whitehall jobs have moved from London - 820 of them to Birmingham in the form of the Big Lottery Fund, English Heritage, the Gambling Commission and, now, the MLA.
Property consultants DTZ, who brokered the MLA deal, said Birmingham’s reputation as an easily accessible city helped clinch the move.
DTZ spokesman David Hidderley said: “We were retained to look across the UK at possible relocation sites for MLA and Birmingham was viewed by the organisation as the perfect location in terms of transport links and high quality of life and work environment.”
Mr Hidderley believes Birmingham is in a good position to continue to attract further relocations from London.
“A key to Birmingham’s success is the employment pool that can be offered but perhaps more so the strategic location it offers for consolidations of regional public sector departments.”
The MLA is responsible for promoting best practice and inspiring innovative, integrated and sustainable museum, library and archive services.
It currently employs about 70 people in London, but it is not known how many will transfer to Birmingham.
Paul Lander, director of corporate services at MLA, said: “The move to Birmingham is an important element of the organisation’s transformation into a restructured and refocused single, national agency for museums, libraries and archives.
“The unified organisation will engage with local government in the nine English regions and Birmingham’s central location is strategically advantageous. The city has a great offer in terms of the standard of office accommodation available, which represents extremely good value, while providing staff with a vibrant working environment in a very attractive part of the country.”
MLA’s announcement follows a record second quarter take-up of 415,000 sq ft of office space in the city centre.
Notable deals including Wragge & Co taking 256,000 sq ft at 2 Snowhill, the Tribunal Service signing for 33,000 sq ft at 54 Hagley Road, and King Sturge taking 16,000 sq ft at 45 Church Street.