Thousands of people are to be employed at a huge new HM Revenue and Customs office in Croydon.

The tax centre, which was hailed as a "another sign of growing confidence" in the town, will open within the next two years as part of cost-cutting reorganisation of the department.

HMRC is to close all 170 of its offices across the country and move staff into 13 new regional centres under the plans, announced today, in a bid to save £100m a year.

The tax authority is in negotiations with the landlord of a possible site - most likely in the town centre - for the Croydon office, which it said would accommodate 2,500 and 2,800 employees in "high-quality, skilled" jobs.

Existing staff will be offered the opportunity to relocate from offices earmarked for closure - including one in Croydon - but many are expected to take redundancy, meaning new jobs in the borough.

Croydon was chosen in part due to the availability of cheap, modern office space, said Lin Homer, HMRC's chief executive.

She added: "HMRC has too many expensive, isolated and out-dated offices.

This makes it difficult for us to collaborate, modernise our ways of working, and make the changes we need to transform our service to customers and clamp down further on the minority who try to cheat the system.

"[The regional centres] will also make a big contribution to the economy of the region providing high-quality, skilled jobs and supporting the Government’s commitment to a national recovery that benefits all parts of the UK."

Coun Tony Newman, leader of Croydon Council, welcomed the "fantastic news".

He said: "It is another sign of growing confidence in Croydon.

"It is good news on many levels; clearly for job opportunities in the future and I would hope with the change in Fairfield Halls and Westfield it is more people around the town in terms of growth and investment."

HMRC will stagger the closure of its existing offices over the next 12 years but said the new regional centres, which will be spread across the country, would all be up and running with five years.

The Croydon centre will be one of the first to launch and will be open by the end of April 2017.