Richard Holden, Member of Parliament for North West Durham and Paul Howell, MP for Sedgefield today raised with Rt Hon. Michael Gove MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, their desire to see County Durham as a prime site for future jobs as tens of thousands of civil servants are planned to move out of central London over the coming years.
With the Chancellor of the Exchequer opening the UK Infrastructure Bank in Leeds and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announcing another 105 jobs in Darlington, adding to the 750 Treasury and 500 International Trade jobs at the new Economic Campus in Teesside, the new Joint Administration at Durham County Council is currently reviewing its estate; keen to make best use of the office space across the county, particularly the Sands project left by the previous administration and the Aykley Heads site on the outskirts of Durham City.
Asked by Richard about civil services jobs for County Durham the Rt Hon. Michael Gove MP, said 'It's horrific that so much public money has been mis-used by the former Labour administration' and finished by saying 'If it was a choice between Durham and Consett for the relocation of Government jobs, I would choose Consett every time.'In making this call, the Durham MPs hope to bring lasting investment across the North East and help fundamentally change the way government works by making sure those who make national decisions live in and understand County Durham.
Paul Howell MP, following Richard's comments, asked for County Durham to be considered as the site for the Advanced Research & Invention Agency (ARIA). You can watch his intervention here.
Commenting, Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham said:
“For too long the UK Government has seen both jobs and attitudes centred around Central London.”
“With the Government moving departments out of London, it is vital that County Durham is not left out. We are calling for our county to be considered alongside further moves to the North of England and Midlands generally.”
“This move out of central London is important, not just for the direct jobs it brings, but also for the change in perspectives it will help bring to the institutions of the Government.”