HUNDREDS of civil servant jobs could be moved out of Darlington following a Department of Education review, The Northern Echo can confirm.

Staff were told this morning the Department of Education’s (DoE) site at Mowden Hall would be vacated, and alternative accommodation found in the North-East for the DoE’s 400 staff there, with a site expected t be found in either Newcastle or Darlington.

The move is being made as part of a wider review which could see DoE sites across the country reduced from 12 to six. Mowden staff, who deal with education policy, are being relocated because the building is in a poor state of repair and would require significant investment if staff were to remain there.

A decision is expected by March next year.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “The Department for Education has conducted a review into how it can best deliver the Government’s priorities quickly and well, while minimising costs to the taxpayer. “We will target our staff time and money on only our top priorities, cutting red tape and concentrating on the work that adds the most value. We are reducing our head count and merging offices to reduce the cost of our buildings.

“The Department for Education is committed to retaining an office in the North-East, where we have over 400 skilled and experienced staff. “Our current office (Mowden Hall in Darlington) requires significant investment and we have today explained to our staff that we are actively considering alternative accommodation options in the North-East. We will continue this conversation with our staff and anticipate further decisions will be made by Easter 2013.”