MORE than 1,000 Whitehall officials will have relocated to Darlington when the full scale of the Government's Treasury North project is complete, The Northern Echo can reveal today.

Earlier this month, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced Darlington had won the battle to be home to the Government's new northern economic campus, with 750 Treasury officials set to relocate from London.

The Northern Echo:

READ MORE: This is when you'll be able to apply for a Treasury job in Darlington

The Echo can reveal today that up to 300 of these officials will arrive in Darlington within 12 months, and, with hundreds of staff from other Government departments including Business and International Trade set to join them, the final total will be well in excess of 1,000.

Recruitment for a number job vacancies for local people is set to begin within weeks, and the Echo can also reveal that a number of major financial, law and accountancy businesses have already begun plans to relocate to Darlington to be alongside the Treasury.

Last night, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said Darlington was experiencing "a new boom time", whilst Darlington Council leader Heather Scott said there was a "buzz of excitement" in the town.

The initial 300 workers will be based at Feethams House in the town centre. The rest of the 750-staff will make the move once the new build at Central Park is completed.

Peter Gibson, MP for Darlington, said: "I am thrilled to learn that the Treasury North campus in Darlington is going to go further and faster then we imagined with even more jobs and local recruitment at an early stage. 

"Bringing people into our town centre will have a positive impact for our traders, we are seeing signs of people looking seriously at Darlington as a place to relocate and levelling up will present new exciting opportunities for our community.

"The faith Rishi has placed in our town is a tremendous vote of confidence in us."

It was confirmed in this month's Budget that Darlington is to be the new location for the Government’s new Treasury North.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak told Treasury officials that they would be relocating from London to Darlington, beating off competition from Newcastle, Leeds and Bradford.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, said: “It was great to get the ball rolling with Treasury officials and with Government to facilitate the relocation of the Treasury to Darlington.

“What is clear is that the move is going to happen relatively quickly. The plan is they will move 300 staff to temporary accommodation within the next 12 months, with a view that once we build a dedicated, state-of-the-art office space for the Treasury, they will transition into the new purpose-built office block and the rest of the staff will join them.

“Since the Budget, we have already been approached by a number of very large businesses from accountancy firms, law firms and other finance businesses looking to relocate to Darlington to be near to the Treasury.

“So this isn’t just about 750 jobs coming to Darlington, it is about a new boom time for the people of Darlington and hopefully, on top of the 750 jobs, we are also going to be seeing hundreds of other jobs from other government departments relocating to Darlington, as well as the Treasury.

“It is looking promising for Darlington. The future is looking very bright, but now we have to deliver on this. The start of the project is here and we have to make sure we see it through to the end."

Heather Scott, leader of Darlington Council, said: "We are ready to provide office space for the potential 300 jobs which are coming shortly and will work with officials to start the recruitment process.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for the  jobs market not only for Darlington but for the whole region and we must rise to the challenge.

"Enquiries are coming in both to Darlington council and Tees Valley from companies interested in relocating or starting up on the back of the Treasury move and the Business Energy and Industrial Dept."

During his Budget speech, Mr Sunak said: "I'm launching the first round of the levelling-up fund today.

"Along with other critical economic departments including Business Energy and Industrial strategy, Department for International Trade and MHCLG - Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government - we will establish a new economic campus in Darlington - redrawing out economic map means rebalancing our economic investment."

Mayor of Darlington, Chris McEwan, said: "As ceremonial mayor of Darlington I think this is great news. Clearly, the pandemic has caused severe issues in our communities and will continue to do so.

"Many of them are not readily identifiable at the moment - a jobs boost like this is always welcome.

"I think jobs are always welcome. Darlington is a great town, which has a lot to offer. We've got to ensure as a town that everyone benefits from this.

"Clearly, got to work out a lot of the detail. 

"One aspect of this it may well get economics graduates staying in the region from Durham or Newcastle."