The Treasury’s favorite Darlington base site revealed
Rishi Sunak has named a former parking lot as the Treasury’s first choice to be the new headquarters for its Darlington offices, where more than a thousand civil servants will move by the end of the decade.
Brunswick, an empty site about five minutes from the city centre, is one of two final contenders for the permanent site of Darlington’s “economic campus”, the Chancellor has said.
Central Park, new offices a 10-minute walk from the center and already home to Teesside University’s National Horizon Centre, is the government’s second choice of location as the Government Property Agency’s procurement process reaches its final stage.
The Chancellor yesterday held a question and answer session with Darlington-based staff, local businesses, residents and students before taking part in a panel discussion with Chief Tax and Social Care Officer Beth Russell.
Russell, who is based at the Darlington site, said: ‘I truly believe passionately that the Darlington Economics Campus is the right thing to do for the public service – and for the Treasury in particular, which has traditionally been one most Londoners. centered on ministries.
“It provides an opportunity for people who might not otherwise be able to work in the public service to do so, bringing in a much wider range of people with different experiences and perspectives to improve our advice to ministers and the services that we provide to the public.”
The job displacement is part of the government’s Places for Growth programme, which aims to relocate 22,000 jobs by the end of the decade, in line with the government’s race to the top strategy.
More than 2,000 civil service jobs have been moved out of London since the pledge was made in 2018.
The Chancellor announced in March 2021 that Darlington would be home to the Treasury’s new North Base, with over 1,100 new roles to be based there by 2025.
More than 110 Treasury employees now work at Darlington alongside employees from other departments, with up to 300 HMT positions to be implemented on campus by 2025. Most employees have been recruited directly from Darlington, some choosing to move from London.
Staff are currently using Bishopsgate House, an existing Department of Education building, as a temporary office. They will move into Feethams House, a nearby office complex, later this year before a move to the permanent site.
The campus will host teams from the International Trade Department, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Department, the Upgrading, Housing and Communities Department, the Digital Department, culture, media and sports, the National Statistics Office and the National Statistics Office. Competition and Markets Authority.
Sunak heard the new recruits explain how they settled into their roles during his visit to the township.
A recent Newcastle recruit said: “I spent quite a bit of time thinking about the career options available to me and thought I would have to move south to find a job that suited me.
“So the opportunity to work at the Darlington Business Campus and effectively be at the center of government without having to relocate has become a really attractive prospect.”
A member of staff who moved from London said: “Over the past few years many of us have reassessed our priorities – the Darlington business campus offers fantastic opportunities to continue working within the civil service, without needing to be based in London for Treasury roles.
“I really enjoyed the opportunity to work in a small town and enjoy what living in County Durham has to offer – from a greener environment and a more leisurely pace of life to being able to walk to my workplace. It’s really the little things that count. »
Sunak said, “I am delighted that we are in the final stages of finding a permanent site for our new campus, which is creating jobs for locals, expanding opportunities and moving forward.”