Office development 'could deliver hundreds of jobs'

The Northern Echo: BUILDING SITE: The Department for Education building, in Darlington. Pictured are Darlington Borough Council chief executive, Ada Burns, with council leader, Bill Dixon, right, and Sean McNicholas, the project's senior building manager. Picture: SARAH BUILDING SITE: The Department for Education building, in Darlington. Pictured are Darlington Borough Council chief executive, Ada Burns, with council leader, Bill Dixon, right, and Sean McNicholas, the project's senior building manager. Picture: SARAH

A MAJOR office development providing work for North-East businesses could bring hundreds of jobs to a town, The Northern Echo can reveal.

Council bosses say the Department for Education (DfE) building, in Darlington, can be the catalyst for significant job growth.

The four-storey office block, being built by Willmott Dixon next to Darlington Town Hall, will house about 400 civil servants, which could be increased to about 1,000.

The development, which will see offices shared by the council, has delivered contracts for a number of North-East companies.

Philadelphia Structures, in Peterlee, east Durham, has supplied 350 tonnes of structural steel, with Middlesbrough’s James Paul Services carrying out ceiling and partition work, and Wyn Construction, near Durham City, looking after groundworks.

Stone Technical Services, in Darlington, has sent its lightning protection division to fit earthing systems, with McNally and Thompson, in Sunderland, installing electrics, Newcastle’s Chemplas fitting cladding and roofing, and Leybourne Urwin, in Stanley, County Durham, carrying out mechanical work.

The civil servant roles are being moved from the town’s crumbling Mowden Hall, after a Northern Echo campaign helped keep the jobs in Darlington.

Coun Bill Dixon, Darlington Borough Council leader, said the building can be extended, offering Government officials scope to increase staff levels to potentially 1,000 positions.

He said: “This can be a real catalyst for other people to come here and stay.

“It can be extended, so if any department wants to put a significant part of the business in there, the space is available.

“This is not just about the 400 jobs, which are the jobs of today, it’s the one in the next 20 and 30 years, which could see 1,000 people have those roles.

“This is what the town and its traders would have lost if the jobs had gone elsewhere.”

The development, which is supporting scores of North-East jobs, including four apprenticeships in scaffolding, bricklaying, electrics and quantity surveying, is expected to be operational early next year.

Formerly used as a car park, and previously the site of a Bishop’s palace or manor house, the development site is due to be watertight in weeks, allowing builders to fit internal structures.

Ada Burns, the council’s chief executive, added: “We are really pleased with how smoothly the work has gone.

“It will be the first of its kind in the North-East to operate as a civil service hub.

“This is not just a building project; a significant amount of this is about the benefits for the town centre.

“It puts Darlington very much on the map and makes it a very attractive place.

“This is a great location for the Government to do business and we want more of this in Darlington.”

Comments (10)

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11:35am Wed 9 Jul 14

echomike says...

Who is the main contractor?
Who is the main contractor? echomike
  • Score: 0

12:03pm Wed 9 Jul 14

LUSTARD says...

echomike wrote:
Who is the main contractor?
wilmott dixon u prat
[quote][p][bold]echomike[/bold] wrote: Who is the main contractor?[/p][/quote]wilmott dixon u prat LUSTARD
  • Score: -1

1:03pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Pierremontquaker03 says...

Is this a "Build it and they will come" speech from Bill Dixon.
Thanks Bill for spending our money on plush new offices which will house people who are paid for by....wait for it the tax payer!
How about attracting private businesses to the town - rather than looking after your public sector chums.
Yes we would all like new offices, equipment etc but for a majority of us in the private sector it is not affordable so we can't have it, we live within our means. All these services that have been cut as well in recent years, yet civil servants get a brand new building - charming!
Is this a "Build it and they will come" speech from Bill Dixon. Thanks Bill for spending our money on plush new offices which will house people who are paid for by....wait for it the tax payer! How about attracting private businesses to the town - rather than looking after your public sector chums. Yes we would all like new offices, equipment etc but for a majority of us in the private sector it is not affordable so we can't have it, we live within our means. All these services that have been cut as well in recent years, yet civil servants get a brand new building - charming! Pierremontquaker03
  • Score: -2

1:06pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Mikedriz says...

I like the comment regarding how well the works have gone. Did the council have no say in the running of the works then?
I like the comment regarding how well the works have gone. Did the council have no say in the running of the works then? Mikedriz
  • Score: 8

1:42pm Wed 9 Jul 14

RealLivin says...

Some one correct me if Im wrong as this is from memory, but wasnt Mowden Hall owned by the DFE/government, who were moving these jobs as they would not pay to fix Mowden Hall, the echo then ran a keep jobs here campaign and DBC said it would build them a new office. I am glad the jobs were saved but surely it is down to government to pay for this not local taxes. Some reporting I have seen recently has indicated that the cheapest land is in the north east, the cheapest building is in the north east and obviously the lowest wages are in the north east. So how special do you need to be to see that by moving ALL of government and public sector head quarters to the north east billions could be saved on running government and the now reduced to bare minimum jobs could go to our jobless, after all it is the authorities responsibly to run as cost effectively as possible whether it local or central government is it not Bill/Ada
Some one correct me if Im wrong as this is from memory, but wasnt Mowden Hall owned by the DFE/government, who were moving these jobs as they would not pay to fix Mowden Hall, the echo then ran a keep jobs here campaign and DBC said it would build them a new office. I am glad the jobs were saved but surely it is down to government to pay for this not local taxes. Some reporting I have seen recently has indicated that the cheapest land is in the north east, the cheapest building is in the north east and obviously the lowest wages are in the north east. So how special do you need to be to see that by moving ALL of government and public sector head quarters to the north east billions could be saved on running government and the now reduced to bare minimum jobs could go to our jobless, after all it is the authorities responsibly to run as cost effectively as possible whether it local or central government is it not Bill/Ada RealLivin
  • Score: 8

3:30pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Darloresident says...

So let me get this straight... Billy and Ada build a 4 storey office block using the council tax payers money and put a few of their town hall staff in there and rent the rest of the space out to DofE.

They then hope that in the next 20 to 30 years 600 more civil servants will come and occupy the rest of the space...

They then have a nerve to say this is a "Civil Service Hub".

It is NOT a hub in any sense of the word - we the residents now are a commercial landlord with a building owned by us that is only 40% occupied.
It will therefore no doubt be a drain on the town finances and cost more to administer and manage than is collected in rent...

Talk about spin...
So let me get this straight... Billy and Ada build a 4 storey office block using the council tax payers money and put a few of their town hall staff in there and rent the rest of the space out to DofE. They then hope that in the next 20 to 30 years 600 more civil servants will come and occupy the rest of the space... They then have a nerve to say this is a "Civil Service Hub". It is NOT a hub in any sense of the word - we the residents now are a commercial landlord with a building owned by us that is only 40% occupied. It will therefore no doubt be a drain on the town finances and cost more to administer and manage than is collected in rent... Talk about spin... Darloresident
  • Score: 7

3:51pm Wed 9 Jul 14

The Love Slug says...

AND BILLY BOY WAS CLAIMING ON FACEBOOK EARLIER THAT HE HAD TO RELY ON HIS WIFE TO SUBSIDISE HIS LOW WAGE...... HMMMMM MAYBE IF HE AND ADA 'MONTGOMERY' BURNS TOOK A PAY CUT TO A REASONABLE LEVEL THE MONEY SAVED COULD PAY FOR THESE NEW OFFICES RATHER THAN HITTING THE TOWN TAXPAYER TO FOOT THE BILL.

FAILING THAT, TAKE A PAY CUT AND USE THE MONEY TO PAY FOR GRASS CUTTING, RATHER THAN ASKING US TO DO IT OURSELVES!
AND BILLY BOY WAS CLAIMING ON FACEBOOK EARLIER THAT HE HAD TO RELY ON HIS WIFE TO SUBSIDISE HIS LOW WAGE...... HMMMMM MAYBE IF HE AND ADA 'MONTGOMERY' BURNS TOOK A PAY CUT TO A REASONABLE LEVEL THE MONEY SAVED COULD PAY FOR THESE NEW OFFICES RATHER THAN HITTING THE TOWN TAXPAYER TO FOOT THE BILL. FAILING THAT, TAKE A PAY CUT AND USE THE MONEY TO PAY FOR GRASS CUTTING, RATHER THAN ASKING US TO DO IT OURSELVES! The Love Slug
  • Score: 5

4:47pm Wed 9 Jul 14

andygib263 says...

Darloresident wrote:
So let me get this straight... Billy and Ada build a 4 storey office block using the council tax payers money and put a few of their town hall staff in there and rent the rest of the space out to DofE.

They then hope that in the next 20 to 30 years 600 more civil servants will come and occupy the rest of the space...

They then have a nerve to say this is a "Civil Service Hub".

It is NOT a hub in any sense of the word - we the residents now are a commercial landlord with a building owned by us that is only 40% occupied.
It will therefore no doubt be a drain on the town finances and cost more to administer and manage than is collected in rent...

Talk about spin...
You have read the article wrong. The office could be extended if the town could attract additional civil servant jobs. The current office has been built to accomadate the existing 400 staff
[quote][p][bold]Darloresident[/bold] wrote: So let me get this straight... Billy and Ada build a 4 storey office block using the council tax payers money and put a few of their town hall staff in there and rent the rest of the space out to DofE. They then hope that in the next 20 to 30 years 600 more civil servants will come and occupy the rest of the space... They then have a nerve to say this is a "Civil Service Hub". It is NOT a hub in any sense of the word - we the residents now are a commercial landlord with a building owned by us that is only 40% occupied. It will therefore no doubt be a drain on the town finances and cost more to administer and manage than is collected in rent... Talk about spin...[/p][/quote]You have read the article wrong. The office could be extended if the town could attract additional civil servant jobs. The current office has been built to accomadate the existing 400 staff andygib263
  • Score: 3

5:54pm Wed 9 Jul 14

DarloXman says...

The country needs less civil servants - not more!
The country needs less civil servants - not more! DarloXman
  • Score: -2

9:35pm Wed 9 Jul 14

LUSTARD says...

civics, dont u get it
civics, dont u get it LUSTARD
  • Score: 0
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