THE treasury in Darlington has been “inundated” with applications from “highly qualified” people in the North East, Michael Gove has revealed.

The Levelling Up minister was speaking a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference yesterday with journalist Sebastian Payne.

Mr Gove also said there had been a “patronising” view among some people in the Government that the base in Darlington would not be able to attract enough good applications.

Read more: Pictures: Chancellor spends first day at Darlington Treasury Campus

He said every job advertised at the Northern Campus in Darlington had attracted 37 “highly qualified” applicants but did not name those in Government who had expressed scepticism about the project.

The first people have started working in Darlington as part of the move of civil servants out of London.

There are plans to bring 750 jobs, from three Government departments, to the town over the coming years.

Speaking to Mr Payne about relocating jobs from London, Mr Gove said: "You can also make sure that people appreciate the quality of life factors that mean that living outside London and the South East is a much more attractive option, and it's striking that the government has relocated some top teams from the Treasury in Darlington.

Read more: Government jobs on offer at new Darlington event

"There was some scepticism from within government about whether or not if you've moved the Treasury to Darlington and created this Treasury North Campus, I won't name who made this argument, you won't be able to attract the type of people that we need in the Treasury.

"In fact, they've been inundated with applications, they've had more than 37 highly qualified people apply for every post all from in and around the North East.

"And it seems to me this was one of the most patronising assumptions that there had been beforehand which was that it was somehow the case that the London and the South East had succeeded because that's where the talent was, and it's redressing that balance and government can have certain anchor investments to redress that balance, which will make people who've been sniffy in the past realise that it's time to put their prejudices aside."

Until the new Economic Campus is built at Central Park, near Bank Top Station, the teams will be based at Feethams House, the £8.5m five-storey Grade A office complex in the heart of the town.

Department for International Trade (DIT) has accelerated its recruitment in the area for UK Trade and Investment North, also based in Darlington. It aims to have 500 roles in the town by 2030.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, plus the Office of National Statistics and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, will also be basing themselves in Darlington.


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