Chloe Shakesby

North East council leaders lobby for hundreds of civil service jobs to move to Teesside

Political leaders across the North East have backed a plan to relocate hundreds of jobs from London to Teesside.

In a letter to Rishi Sunak, five council leaders called for the chancellor to move civil service jobs to Teesside, backing a movement started by Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen.

This comes after last year’s announcement that 22,000 civil servants would be moved out of the capital by 2030.

Houchen’s plan would see 750 senior civil servants relocated to a new northern economic campus, to be known as ‘Treasury North’.

In the letter, the leaders - mayor of Middlesbrough Andy Preston, Hartlepool Council leader Shane Moore, Redcar and Cleveland Council leader Mary Lanigan, Darlington Council leader Heather Scott, and Stockton Council leader Bob Cook - said: “We fully support your plan to move Civil Service jobs out of London to the North.

“This will both bring jobs to the region and ensure that government hears and understands the problems and the aspirations of people outside metropolitan areas.

“A major Treasury presence in the North would be a clear demonstration of the government’s commitment to the levelling up agenda.

“The jobs must not go to a metropolitan centre such as Manchester, Leeds or Newcastle - they need to come to a region like the one we represent.

“We believe that Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool is not only the right type of region in terms of the mix of towns and rural areas where opportunities have not always been realised by government in the past, but has a lot to offer in terms of the quality of our proposals, the opportunity to have the biggest possible levelling up impact through this project, and our fantastic people, whose skills and character can add strength to the Civil Service if they are given the opportunity.”

Ben Houchen commented: “The relocation of the Civil Service is a once in a lifetime opportunity, it is absolutely essential that the government gets it right.

“If they do then not only will we see a major change in outlook from policymakers, but we will also raise the aspirations of a swathe of young people right across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool who will see a career in the Civil Service as a real and achievable possibility.

“If they get it wrong all we will see is civil servants move from one metropolitan city to another, in doing so squandering a major opportunity to change how those who make policy see the rest of the country.

“The Chancellor understands how critical this decision is and that it is key to showing people across Teesside, who lent the government their vote at the last general election, that levelling up really means something and is more than an empty slogan.”

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