The Met Office is recognised globally as a leading weather and climate service. In addition to delivering services to Government, it delivers high quality services to non-Government customers, both nationally and internationally, on a commercial basis. These services are underpinned by cutting edge science, a 24/7 operational capability and resilient delivery infrastructure. The mission of the Met Office is to exploit its capabilities to protect life and property, enhance well-being and contribute to economic growth.
Employing some 1,800 people, principally at its headquarters located in Exeter, the Met Office has 50 other sites throughout the UK and overseas. The Met Office represents the UK Government on many international and inter-governmental bodies, including the World Meteorological Organization.
Following a £97 million investment in a new high-performance computer the Met Office is now seizing the opportunity to deliver a wide range of benefits to the UK, from more accurate local weather forecasts, through to improved predictions of how the climate will change over time, all done at higher speed and greater resolution than before. The Met Office’s research into the impacts of climate change also remains of vital importance.
The Met Office occupies a strong market position, based on its reputation for excellence and a brand synonymous with world class science. The Met Office has achieved very high recognition for its creative and innovative use of new technologies and social media. These exciting developments need to be balanced with the responsibility to maintain the Met Office’s scientific and forecasting integrity.
The Met Office has operated as a Trading Fund since 1996. This means that it receives no operational funding directly from Parliament but meets its costs by charging customers, across and outside government, for services provided. Its annual turnover is of the order of £230 million. The Met Office’s core UK-wide services – including warnings and support to emergency responders – are purchased on behalf of the UK Government through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), overseen by the Public Weather Service Customer Group (PWSCG). The PWSCG has representatives from across the UK, including devolved administrations and the public. Other major customers include the Ministry of Defence, other Government departments and agencies, the Civil Aviation Authority, and a wide range of private sector organisations. The Met Office is required to generate a profit on its activities and to deliver a dividend to Government as its shareholder.
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