The Treasury is forging ahead with a plan to build its Darlington base in an abandoned car park, the chancellor has announced.
Nadhim Zahawi, on his first visit to the town since taking over from Rishi Sunak, confirmed Brunswick Street, an empty car park five minutes from the city centre, will be the permanent site for the Darlington “economic campus”.
The Treasury named the site as its preferred location for the offices in April – followed by an existing development close to Teesside University’s National Horizon Centre.
The creation of the campus is part of the government’s Places for Growth programme, which aims to relocate 22,000 jobs outside London by the end of the decade, in alignment with the government's levelling up agenda. Around 6,000 civil service jobs have moved out of London so far.
The Treasury announced in March 2021 that Darlington would be the home of its northern base, with 300 of its staff expected to work there by 2025.
So far there are around 130 Treasury officials working in the city. Teams have now begun moving from the interim office at Bishopsgate House , an existing Department for Education office, into a longer-term temporary home in Feethams House, a nearby office complex. The move will be completed in September, ahead of the permanent site being ready in 2025.
Treasury staff will be joined by civil servants from other departments, bringing the number of new roles based at the site to more than 1,100. 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.
Visiting the city this morning, Zahawi said he was “eager to see more Treasury roles in Darlington”.
“People in all parts of this great country have a right to be at the heart of government decision-making and we are delivering on that promise by moving up to 300 Treasury roles to Darlington by 2025,” he added.
The move to Brunswick Street is subject to a contract and lease agreement.