The Government has confirmed its purchase of a Darlington site which will act as the treasury's second headquarters and housing 1,400 civil servants.

The Government confirmed it had purchased the permanent site of the Darlington Economic Campus (DEC) on Brunswick Street in Darlington yesterday (September 26).

The Darlington Economic Campus (DEC) was established in August 2021 and Departments moved into Feethams House in June 2022 and currently houses 600 government staff.

The structure will also accommodate the Department for Business and Trade, and construction is planned to begin on a new government hub in October 2024 and expected to be complete in 2026.

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The Northern Echo:

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “The establishment of the Treasury in Darlington has already proved a major success and the move to a permanent base at Brunswick House will firmly cement our area as a central Government location for decades to come.

“Bringing senior civil servants out of London to a modern and forward-looking base in Darlington brings direct economic benefits. It also provides high-quality job opportunities for our brightest local talent, who can bring their expertise to the civil service.

“The issues and opportunities in Darlington are not exclusive to the town - or our region as a whole - and closer ties with communities like ours will only strengthen Government's understanding of these areas and lead to better policies and decision-making for all regions.”

Minister for the Cabinet Office Jeremy Quin said: "Levelling up is about tangible change on the ground and the purchasing of the Darlington Economic campus land shows that the government is putting down roots in the communities we serve.

"The campus will house 1400 civil servants and as the Treasury’s second headquarters is a visible signal of levelling up in action.

"It will not only create job opportunities for people in the local area, it also means a Civil Servant could pursue an entire career to the top of their profession without ever moving to London."

The hub will see 1139 roles move to Darlington, with 674 relocated to date.

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The Northern Echo:

The move of Civil Service roles to Darlington is expected to generate approximately £30 million per 1,000 roles.

This is due to economic benefits for the town, down to increased footfall and spending from staff.

This confirms the DEC is an important part of the Government’s Places for Growth (PfG) programme, which is moving roles out of London to areas across the UK.

Peter Gibson, MP for Darlington, said this confirms Levelling Up is in action across the North East.

He said: "Fantastic to learn that the land for the permanent home for Darlington Economic Campus - delivering hundreds of jobs here has been secured.

"Levelling up in action."

The programme will see 22,000 roles move from London by 2030.

The Northern Echo:

Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office Alex Burghart said: "The continued success of the Darlington Economic Campus shows that the Places for Growth programme is delivering high quality government jobs across the whole country.

"This is good for the local area and good for the Civil Service, as it ensures that Whitehall can take advantage of the wisdom and experience from people all over the UK.

"This new site will provide more capacity for civil servants to work from at least eight different government departments."

Alongside the Treasury, the Campus will house teams from the Department for Business and Trade, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Office for National Statistics and the Competition and Markets Authority. 

They will be working alongside the Department for Education who already have a base in Darlington.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Gareth Davies said: "People should be able to develop their careers within the Civil Service without moving to London and the Darlington Economic Campus is testament to that.

The Northern Echo:

"It has a strong vision, which includes making government, policy, and delivery stronger through a diverse workforce which is more representative of the public we serve.

"With this new milestone there is a real sense of momentum. The Brunswick Street space will be a boost for local growth and jobs while bringing the people of Darlington and the Tees Valley closer to the heart of government decision-making."

The building will be designed in line with the Government Workplace Design Guide.

 Civil servants based in the interim facility will relocate to Brunswick Street on completion of the new building, and Feethams House will be used to support the wider DEC alongside Bishopsgate House.

Clive Anderson, Director of Capital Projects said: "The Government Property Agency plays a key role in the Government’s transformation agenda ensuring that people in all part of the United Kingdom receive opportunities as part of the Levelling Up programme.

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"Working closely with Darlington Borough Council, Tees Valley Combined Authority and our clients, we will create unique opportunities for people across Darlington and the North East.

"Investing in a land purchase and a freehold solution, gives us the opportunity to design the hub as a landmark, sustainable, placemaking building, with high levels of inclusivity enabling access by all."

It is expected the construction contract tender will be released via the CCS Construction Works Framework in late 2023.