Starting in 2024, a new government base will be built at Brunswick Street. Credit: GPA

Boost for Darlington as govt speeds up relocations

The government has moved its target for moving 22,000 roles out of London from 2030 to 2027, also confirming that Darlington will house a ‘second headquarters’ for the Department for Business & Trade.

The Cabinet Office said that figures now show that 16,061 roles have already been moved out of London, exceeding the commitment to relocate 15,000 roles by 2025 “and underlining the success of the Places for Growth programme”.

Aberdeen, Wrexham and Greater Manchester have also been the beneficiaries of ‘second HQ’ relocations, with the government explaining that it wishes to strengthen the Union as well as commit to its Levelling Up agenda.

Darlington had already been confirmed as the Treasury’s second headquarters.

In September it was confirmed that Brunswick Street has been selected by the Government Property Agency to house the Darlington Economic Campus, which will house more than 1,000 officials from six departments in roles relocated from London.

Along with the Treasury and the Department for Business & Trade, the DEC will house staff from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Office for National Statistics and the Competition and Markets Authority.

At present, the DEC, which was announced in summer 2021 as a flagship levelling-up policy, is based at Feethams House in the town, where more than 600 staff are already located.

In all 1,139 roles are now committed to Darlington, a number that is expected to rise to 1,400.

Minister for the Cabinet Office John Glen said: “We are taking the long term decisions to move government roles out of London so more people from our great towns and cities can play a direct role in changing this country for the better.

“We have already gone above and beyond our targets, bringing the best talent from every corner of the UK into government roles, to make our civil service more efficient and representative of the wider public.”

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