A new assessment centre for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is set to open in Dundee.
Plans submitted to Dundee City Council on behalf of the department to move into the empty offices on the ground floor of Seabraes House have been approved.
The health assessment centre will, according to the application, provide space for people attending for “consultations and discussions relating to benefit and support claims”.
The reporting officer determined the new site would be in an “accessible location” and could “potentially support linked trips to businesses” in the Perth Road and city centre areas.
Since the centre will handle pre-booked appointments only, it was determined there will not be a significant number of people in the building at any one time.
Cushman and Wakefield, the agent working on behalf of the DWP, originally claimed the move to Seabraes House was in part due to a “backlog” of assessments, as well as an increase in the number of new claimants resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
But this was refuted by a spokeswoman for the department, who said the move was already on the cards before the pandemic hit because a current lease was due to expire and could not be renewed.
Figures released by the DWP in May revealed the number of people in Dundee claiming Universal Credit rose by a massive 517% in the first month of lockdown.