The hub is expected to open in 2027. Credit: Cabinet Office

Kier on board for Darlington Economic Campus

The Government Property Agency has selected the contractor as its initial delivery partner to deliver the £118m civil service hub.

The organisations have now agreed a pre-construction services agreement in readiness for the project, earmarked for Brunswick Street, after a planning application was lodged with Darlington Council last month.

The latest hub would become part of the DEC, which already includes Feethams House and Bishopsgate House, and form part of the Government Hubs Programme intended to support economic growth across the UK, with the brief of developing brownfield sites with sustainability front of mind.

Kier and the GPA will now develop the design and engage with the supply chain to prepare the way for work to begin: subject to planning consent being granted, construction is scheduled to start at the end of the year.

Parliamentary secretary for the Cabinet Office, Alex Burghart, said: “We are committed to creating modern and productive working environments for civil servants in Darlington, enabling them to deliver the best possible service to taxpayers.

“I am pleased to see the progress being made to deliver this new government hub on Brunswick Street. Our growing presence in Darlington will allow us to attract and retain talented individuals from across the North of England in key Civil Service positions.”

This is the GPA’s first new-build freehold building – the agency will own the four-storey building and the land in its entirety, removing the need to lease.

Clive Anderson, director of capital projects at the GPA, said: “The GPA is looking forward to working with Kier Construction on this exceptional freehold project to deliver a next-generation government hub at the DEC.

“This development will continue to support Levelling Up and Places for Growth, creating considerable regional economic benefit as well as helping to transform the Civil Service to better represent the public we serve.”

Completion is expected in 2027. Once open, the building will provide modern office space for around 1,400 civil servants.

Since 2021, an additional 800 civil servants have been recruited into the DEC, adding to the 750 Department for Education staff already based in the town.

Stuart Togwell, group managing director of Kier Construction, said: “We’re delighted to have been appointed to support the delivery of the Government Property Agency’s latest Government Hub in Darlington.  Working in partnership with the GPA, we will create an exemplar building to support and create a new flagship regional hub for the government and a sustainable, inclusive and collaborative environment for its employees.

“Our strong regional footprint also means we will deliver the scheme through local supply chains and create employment opportunities including apprenticeships.”

The new hub will house civil servants from the Treasury, the Department for Business and Trade, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and 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; and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

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