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Work to start on £8m office block in Darlington
BUILDING work will start this week on an £8m office development that will secure the future of hundreds of jobs in a North-East town.
Wednesday (December 11) marks the official beginning of work on the Department for Education (DfE) offices in Darlington town centre.
The date marks the end of preparation works including extensive archaeological excavation on the site to the rear of the Town Hall in Darlington.
Work to lay the pilings for the foundations of the building will now commence.
There has already been keen interest in the site from residents and school children, with about 250 people taking advantage of the recent dig tours.
These detailed what had been uncovered as part of the excavation works and gave information on the history of the site once thought to have been a poor house.
Analysis of the finds is now ongoing, with decision to be made as to how these will be recorded, displayed and archived.
It is estimated that the build will take about 59 weeks with the framework in place by February next year.
The £8m development will accommodate around 375 DfE workers as they move out of their existing offices at run-down Mowden Hall.
The offices will form a public sector hub which will enable the sharing of facilities by both the DfE and Darlington Borough Council.
In a detailed agreement, the council will lease the building to the DfE for 15 years.
Council leader Bill Dixon said: “The archaeological work caused a lot of excitement in the town as everyone wondered what was beneath the car park.
“It is now time for a big step into the present day as work starts in earnest on what will be an innovative and most welcome development in the town centre.”
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