Deal Agreed To Buy Land For Permanent Darlington Economic Campus

Tees Valley Combined Authority | Published on: 26th September 2023

The establishment of Darlington as a key location for the UK Government has taken a major step forward after the purchase of land for the permanent site of the new Darlington Economic Campus. 

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

Brunswick Street is the permanent site for the DEC, which is the Treasury’s second headquarters and will also accommodate the Department for Business and Trade. Construction of a new government base will begin in October 2024 and is expected to be completed in 2026. 

The development will help grow the local economy with 1,139 roles committed to Darlington, and 674 relocated to date. The move of Civil Service roles to Darlington is expected to generate around £30million per 1,000 roles relocated in economic benefits for the town, down to increased footfall and spending from staff. 

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.” 

The DEC is part of the Government’s Places for Growth (PfG) programme, which is moving Civil Service roles out of London to areas across the UK.  

The programme will see 22,000 roles move from London by 2030 and is part of ensuring that staff working in government are closer to the people and communities that they serve. 

Minister for the Cabinet Office Jeremy Quin said: “Purchasing land for the permanent site of the Darlington Economic campus shows that government is putting down roots in the communities we serve.  

“The campus will house 1,400 civil servants and as the Treasury’s second headquarters is a visible signal of levelling up in action. 

“The DEC not only creates job opportunities for people in the local area, it also allows Civil Servants to not have to move to London to continue their careers.” 

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 International Trade, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the Department for Digital, 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. 

The building will accommodate over 1,400 civil servants in a sustainable, working environment.  

It will offer a mix of flexible workspaces to support accessibility, neuro-diversity, collaboration and wellbeing, along with refreshment hubs, home zones and meeting rooms. 

Recruiting for the DEC is progressing well with several departments currently based in Feethams House, the interim DEC’s interim home.  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. 

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