DARLINGTON Bank Top Development was key to the relocation of the treasury as Government wanted "something between five and ten minutes walk from the station."

The location of Darlington train station was crucial in talks between the Government and plans to relocate the treasury to Darlington, and the Whitehall officials wanted to be in "walking distance of the East Coast Mainline with good public transport connections."

But plans to improve the station were crucial to help secure Darlington as the destination for the treasury's relocation.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: "It is absolutely true to say with the negotiations I had with Rishi and the treasury, their number one priority was, are they going to be near, ideally in walking distance, of the East Coast mainline with good public transport connectivity.

“The fact that we even had the station was crucial in that, but the fact that we also had a very clear plan that was in the late stages of development to upgrade that plan and make it what we think it should be, helped us get it over the line, and without it we wouldn’t have that.

“The station will now bring north of 1,500 jobs to the economic campus and on top of that, it will also lead to a lot more financial services and professional services locating in the region.

“Again, these will benefit from the public transport system both North to Newcastle and South to places like London.

Heather Scott, leader of Darlington Borough Council said: "One of the reasons they are bringing the treasury here is for access to the station and wherever they decide to make their permanent home, they wanted something that was between a five and ten minute walk from the station, so that’s ideal.

“It also links in very nicely to Teesside Airport and that would be another benefit for people wanting to fly from Teesside if they don’t want to come by car.

Asked about his thoughts on the development Councillor Chris McEwan said: "I think it‘s a good thing, Darlington’s got a natural strength in terms of its position and geography and transport links.

The Northern Echo:

"It’s exciting, but we need to see it followed through, a lot of work is required.

“I don’t think it’ll happen overnight, but to maintain momentum is really critical. Having improved transport links is key."