Three departments announce second HQs outside London

DBT, DSIT and DESNZ to open new HQs
DESNZ will create a new HQ in Aberdeen. Photo: Colin Hunter/Alamy

By Tevye Markson

14 Dec 2023

Three departments will create additional headquarters outside of London, it has been announced.

The Department of Business and Trade will join the Treasury in setting up a second base in Darlington, while the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology will create a second central office in Greater Manchester.

The Department of Energy Security and Net Zero has meanwhile said it will have HQs in both Aberdeen and Salford. The department already has a presence in Salford, with one of its director generals confirming he had moved there earlier this year.

Announcing the plans, Cabinet Office minister John Glen said the choice of locations was intended to departments “real proximity to the object of their focus”, such as placing DESNZ at the heart of the UK oil and gas industry in Aberdeen.

Energy minister Andrew Bowie said creating the Aberdeen base "puts those working in the department closer to those working in the crucial oil gas and renewables industries – both the companies and the tens of thousands of their workers who play a vital role in our energy supply".

DSIT said the decision to open a second headquarters in Greater Manchester will place the department “at the heart of a community that has played a pivotal role in shaping scientific and technological advancements in the UK”.

“Greater Manchester is steeped in a legacy of technological progress, rooted in the Industrial Revolution and long home to scientific pioneers like Alan Turing and Ernest Rutherford,” science secretary Michelle Donelan said.

She added that the move would “not only tap into a pool of exceptional talent but also ensure that policymakers responsible for the growth of science and technology live and work alongside a dynamic community of sci-tech leaders”.

DBT will follow the Treasury in creating a second HQ in Darlington. The Darlington Economic Campus was created in 2021 as a hub for the Treasury and other departments, including DBT, and as the Treasury’s second HQ. The DEC will move to a permanent site in Brunswick Street in 2026. 

CSW asked DBT if its second HQ will be in the same building, but had not received a response when the story was published. 

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