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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 September, 2003, 14:58 GMT 15:58 UK
GCHQ staff squeeze into 'doughnut'
The 'doughnut' - the new home of GCHQ in Cheltenham
The doughnut is bigger that the old Wembley Stadium
Staff have begun moving in to the government's new spy base at Cheltenham.

Nicknamed "the doughnut" because of its unusual shape, GCHQ's new headquarters took three years to build at a cost of 337m.

In July, the agency was criticised by the Audit Commission for massive cost overruns in the move.

All 4,500 staff began moving in on Tuesday.

Albert Hall

Bob McNally, spokesman at GCHQ, told the BBC: "Previously, we had about 50 buildings separated over two sites four miles apart.

"It was very difficult for people to get together and work.

"The new building is open plan with common computer systems. People can get together in 15 minutes."

The doughnut was built on a circular design, big enough to house the old Wembley Stadium, including a courtyard large enough to take the Royal Albert Hall.




SEE ALSO:
GCHQ criticised for huge move overspend
16 Jul 03  |  Gloucestershire
Fresh 'doughnut' for GCHQ office
23 Jun 03  |  Gloucestershire
In pictures: GCHQ's new HQ
20 Jun 03  |  Photo Gallery
Jam free GCHQ doughnut
06 Apr 03  |  Gloucestershire
New chief for GCHQ
31 Jan 03  |  England


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