Details have been revealed of the Government's £118million investment in a new building in the centre of Darlington.

The Government Property Agency has submitted a planning application to Darlington Borough Council to build a four-storey government hub as part of the growth of the Darlington Economic Campus.

When completed, Brunswick Street - on the site of a former car park next to the Darlington East End club and opposite St Cuthbert's church -  will form part of a government campus of three buildings, including Feethams House and Bishopsgate House.

The Northern Echo: The new Brunswick Street siteThe new Brunswick Street site (Image: DEC)

The Northern Echo: The new Brunswick Street siteThe new Brunswick Street site (Image: DEC)

The Northern Echo: The new Brunswick Street siteThe new Brunswick Street site (Image: DEC)

Construction is set to begin later this year and be completed in early 2027. The new hub will increase the total number of Darlington-based civil servants working to over 2,300, 1,450 of whom will be located in the Brunswick Street hub. Since 2021, 762 civil service roles have been relocated to Darlington under Places for Growth.

More than 800 civil servants are currently based in Darlington across eight departments, including His Majesty’s Treasury, the Department for Education, and the Department for Business and Trade, for whom Darlington is their second headquarters.

The DBT itself has more than 250 staff stationed there, over 200 of which have been locally recruited. Darlington has been a welcome addition to DBT’s Places for Growth network, which now boasts five other locations, including Belfast, Cardiff and Salford.

During a visit to meet with senior officials based in Darlington today, Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office, Alex Burghart, said: “Brunswick Street, situated right in the heart of Darlington, will soon be home to a critical government hub, and as the government footprint in North England continues to grow, we will create further opportunities for people from across the country to work in the civil service.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for Darlington as we begin the process of delivering a landmark, sustainable, place-making building which the entire community can take pride in.

“Not only will this help drive regional economic growth, but it will also ensure that we create a civil service that better represents the diverse communities it serves.”

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Clive Anderson, Director of Capital Projects at the GPA, said: “We are a step closer to creating another highly sustainable new government hub which will boost the local economy and see a modern, inspirational and energy-efficient workplace for government departments and their staff attracted to a rewarding civil service career based in Darlington.

“The campus is enabling increased investment in the region and supporting the Government’s Levelling Up and Places for Growth agendas, creating circa 1,400 Civil Service roles and providing future growth opportunities to the North East of England.”

Second Permanent Secretary to the Treasury Beth Russell, who is based in Darlington, said: “Today marks a major milestone for the Darlington Economic Campus as it moves one step closer to its permanent home. We are already giving hundreds of local people the opportunity to work at the heart of government from here in the North East, making government policymaking more reflective of the communities we serve.”

The Northern Echo: The new siteThe new site (Image: Google)

Jo Crellin, Director General Economic Security and Trade Relations - based in Darlington - added: “We're proud to have a strong presence at the campus in Darlington, with brilliant people working alongside the other departments on campus to support economic growth and help UK businesses across the country. Planning for a new building reflects the success of the whole campus in moving roles to the North East and helping people grow or start their civil service career here.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Securing the Treasury and seven other Government departments in Darlington has already proven a huge success for the town with 800 workers in post, many of them recruited from Teesside and the surrounding area, cementing Darlington’s status as a centre for Government in the North.

“The Brunswick Street site has stood empty for decades, so to see the start of construction later on a permanent base this year will be another big step forward for Darlington town centre, bringing much-needed redevelopment on top of the hundreds of extra good-quality jobs this building will bring.”

This latest development forms part of the Government Hubs Programme, which supports economic growth across the UK, catalyses the regeneration of brownfield sites and repurposes existing buildings to create efficient, sustainable, and productive workplaces.

Other government departments based at the DEC include the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, the Office for National Statistics, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport , the Competition and Markets Authority, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, and the Department for Education.