Kier to design new government hub in Darlington

The Government Property Agency's proposed £118m government hub - image: Cabinet Office

The Government Property Agency (GPA) has signed Kier as its initial delivery partner to create a new hub at the Darlington Economic Campus (DEC).

The organisations have just agreed a pre-construction services agreement (PCSA) in readiness to deliver the project, earmarked for Brunswick Street. 

A planning application for the £118m development was lodged with Darlington Borough Council last month.

The latest hub would become part of the DEC which includes Feethams House and Bishopsgate House, and form part of the Government Hubs Programme supporting economic growth across the UK, catalysing the regeneration of brownfield sites and creating efficient, sustainable and productive workplaces for Civil Servants. 

Kier and the GPA are now set to develop the design and engage with the supply chain to prepare the way for building to begin. 

Subject to planning consent being granted, construction is scheduled to start at the end of the year.

This is 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 Government Property Agency, 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 of the building 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 (DfE) 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 service staff from His Majesty’s Treasury (HMT), the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC); the Office for National Statistics (ONS); the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS); the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA); the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ); and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), in addition to the DfE which is already based in Darlington.

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