Work has begun on the Welsh Assembly Government's £20m Aberystwyth office.
[L-R] Ceredigion Council's Keith Evans, Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones, Andy Jones, Carillion
Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones led a sod-cutting ceremony at Parc-y-Llyn, which will house about 535 staff when it opens in 2009.
"This is an exciting development for Aberystwyth, mid Wales and the entire country," said the Ceredigion AM.
Earlier this month First Minister Rhodri Morgan revealed that another new assembly government office in Conwy due to open in late 2008 would be delayed.
Ms Jones said: "This office marks the latest stage in the assembly government's commitment to disperse our civil service jobs throughout Wales, not have them concentrated mainly in the south-east.
"This is devolution in action, taking jobs out of the cities and bringing the work of the government closer to the people we serve."
Ms Jones said the assembly government was in talks with construction company Carillion to use local craftsmen and suppliers wherever possible.
The Aberystwyth office will accommodate staff from the assembly's rural affairs and heritage and economy and transport departments, as well as workers from the Forestry Commission and the Countryside Council for Wales.