North East Devolution and Levelling Up

More government jobs to move to Darlington – report

Another 100 government jobs are coming to Darlington as a third department announces a partial move to the town, according to a report in the Northern Echo today.

Staff working for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will join civil servants from the Treasury and the Department for International Trade at the new government economic campus to be built near the town’s Bank Top Station.

According to the Echo, the BEIS posts will be filled by natural “churn”: as jobs become empty in London, they will be replaced by a post in Darlington, although some civil servants are also expected to relocate. BEIS’ goal is that by 2025, it will have 30 per cent of its staff working outside London.

The news is the latest example of the government’s levelling-up efforts for North East England benefiting the Tees Valley area, which accepted a devolution deal in 2016, while the rest of the region, which rejected deal at the same time and split in two along the line of the Tyne, gets virtually nothing.

Meanwhile, The Journal reports today that the seven councils involved in that split – Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland, which broke away and signed their own devolution deal in 2018, and the rump North East Combined Authority of Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland and County Durham, which remain without a deal – are set to re-start talks with the government about re-uniting and signing a new deal. Talks were suspended in March because of the local elections.