MI6 Headquarters, Vauxhall Cross

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Overview

The headquarters of the British Secret Intelligence Service, also known as Military Intelligence, Section 6, is located at 85, Albert Embankment in the south western part of central London, on the bank of the River Thames beside Vauxhall Bridge.1

Designed by Terry Farrell and built by John Laing, the Developer Regalian Properties PLC approached the government in 1987 to assess their interest in the proposed building. At the same time, MI6′s sister service MI5 was seeking alternative accommodation and collocation of the two organisations was considered. This proposal was ultimately abandoned due to the lack of buildings of adequate size (existing or proposed) and the security considerations of providing a single target for attacks. In July 1988 Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher approved the purchase of the new building for the SIS. The government proposed to pay for the building outright in order to maintain secrecy over the intended use of the site — at this time the existence of MI6 was not officially acknowledged.2

The building’s design was reviewed to incorporate the necessary protection for Britain’s foreign intelligence-gathering agency. While the details and cost of construction have been released, approximately ten years after the original National Audit Office (NAO) report was written, some of the service’s special requirements remain classified. The NAO report Thames House and Vauxhall Cross omits certain details, describing the cost and problems of certain modifications but not their nature.3

On the evening of September 20, 2000 an explosion occurred, shattering an eighth floor window on the southern side of the building.  This explosion was explained as being a rocket or missile potentially fired by “dissident Irish republicans”.  However, eyewitness reports have conflicting information.  A witness named Andrew Preece says “I saw a large flash of light coming from the top of the building which was followed by a large bang.”  Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, who has responsibility for MI6, said: “I have spoken to the Chief of SIS, Richard Dearlove. He has confirmed there was no damage inside the Vauxhall Cross building.”4

Vauxhall Cross, or “Babylon-on-Thames,” is widely known to be the location of the Secret Intelligence Service with the building featuring on many bus tours.  According to CNN:

The building is said to be like a fortress, covered with security cameras inside and out and reinforced with special bomb and bullet-proof walls, triple-glazed glass to block electronic eavesdropping and jamming, extra-stout doors and two moats.

Although its multiple floors rise step by step into the London skyline, much of the construction is below ground to protect sensitive areas such as the computer control room from potential terrorist attack.

The refit and refurbishment alone for Britain’s international intelligence gathering agency cost £80 million — exactly what this was spent on being confidential on the grounds of “national security.”

Such figures caused controversy earlier this year when it was revealed that Vauxhall Cross and Thames House, MI5′s new headquarters across the river, together cost £547 million, more than twice original estimates.5

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7 comments for “MI6 Headquarters, Vauxhall Cross

  1. November 18, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    For an alleged ” Super secret Intelligence” Service”; they have been undermined by one of their own. Accessing UK GCHQ telecomm systems, exploiaitation of the EMS has and is currently used for RW/ DW/ IW/ COMPINT; EW/ EA/ RI/ EMP.
    Facilitated by HEO/ UHF ” Radiological dispersal devices” { Constellation class satellites”; UK Intel Operational methods not limited to Inte lligence Collection { not ltd to by HCT/ BCI/ A.I.}; has and is conducted.
    Exploitation of the EMS/ wavelets/ Bandwidths used for ” Spectral imaging UK Defense op methods.
    Super secret noting the lining of the walls of Vauxhall cross? I dont think so. However if you believe that one maybe a website should be put up with the alleged ” Supersecret Inteligence services activities.

  2. November 18, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    FOR AN ALLEGED “SUPER SECRET INTELLIGENCE” AGENCY THEY ARE UNDERMINED AT THEIR EXPENSE BY ONE OF THEIR OWN FORMER ASSOCIATES.
    ACCESS OF UK GCHQ { ANOTHER INTELLIGENCE AGENCY} HAS AND IS CONDUCTED FOR RW/DW/IW/COMPINT; EW/ EA/ RI/ EMP BY USE RADIOLOGICAL DISPERSAL DEVICES FACILITATED BY HEO/UHF CONSTELLATION CLASS SATELLITES.
    EXPLOITATION OF THE EMS, SPECIFIC BANDWIDTHS USED FOR NOT LIMITED TO INTELLIGENCE COLLECTION/ ANALYZATION/ DEPLOYMENT OF INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION; OF INFORMATION AS TO PARALLEL PROCESSING WITH OTHER GOVERNMENT AGENCIE; OF SPECIFIC BANDWIDTHS USED FOR ” SPECTRAL IMAGING” FOR THE THEFT/ TRANSMISSION UK DEFENSE OPERATIONAL METHODS OUT TO THOSE NOT QUALIFIED TO RECIEVE THE INFORMATION.
    THERE IS NO PROACTIVE SECURITY, LEADING TO BUSINESS/ INTERNET/TELECOMMUNICATIONS FRAUD; ILLICIT USE RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS AND NO ENFORCEMENT UK LAW NOT LIMITED TO THE UK RADIOACTIVE SUBSTANCES ACT/ UK CRIME AND SECURITY ACT 2001; UK TERRORISM ACT 2005, 2006, 2007; THE UK INTELLIGENCE SERVICES ACT 2004.
    YOUR EXPENSE IN PERSONAL/PUBLIC/BUSINESS/E COMMERCE/CYBER/NETWORK SECURITY {IP INFORMATION}/ INFORMATION ASSURANCE; AND NOT LIMITED TO THE DOD.
    HOW MUCH ARE YOU SPENDING AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE?

    • April 25, 2012 at 8:11 pm

      To which I might add compliance with the 10 Principles in “The Body of Knowledge” of Cyber Security, an off-the-cuff reference from my MIS graduate work

  3. March 1, 2012 at 10:54 am

    I am a political Science major who is very athletic, I know languages and I would like to work for you. Thankyou for your time.

  4. April 18, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Glad to know I am not the only one having the same urge, as a MIS Graduate!
    Politics is part of my arts and science undergraduate courses, in my tradition, family, bloodline, as far back to the appointment of the first Chief Minister of my native country. Matter of fact, I was on that political bandwaggon as a boy, with certain persons whose names I choose to withhold.

    Two is a company, three is a crowd, but we may get some attention.

    How about that Mr Prime Minister, aka “David” Cameron.

    What do you think?

  5. July 20, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

  6. Victor Bertram
    June 10, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Dear MI6

    I sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Australia regarding a New Security Service.
    This New Security Service is a very specialized work as it intends to root out abusive media which manipulate peoples psychology, and any associated which abuse their positions, and will root them out when, and wherever possible.
    I have written to 10 Downing Street concerning abusive media but never received a reply
    I then proposed this New Security Service to Australia to their Prime Minister Julia Gillard

    This is just a short note to ask, if you could ask, did the Prime Minister of Australia receive my letter of information.

    Yours Sincerely

    Victor Bertram

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