Work begins on £8million Department for Education offices in Darlington (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Foundation work begins on £8million development in Darlington
WORK has now started at the site of the new multi-million pound Department for Education offices behind Darlington Town Hall.
It comes just 12-months after the town risked losing 400 civil service jobs when the government announced it planned to move staff from Mowden to elsewhere in the North East.
A campaign led by Darlington Borough Council kept the jobs in the borough on the premise that the council lease the new building to the DofE for the next 15 years.
Today (Wednesday, December 11) contractors Willmott Dixon started work on the £8million development with test piling – drilling concrete into the ground for the building’s foundations.
They plan to begin erecting the steel frame in February and have the building finished by January 2015.
Nick Corrigan, operations manager for Willmott Dixon, said: “We are actually adjoining the building onto the existing council offices so we are going to have 1,000 pairs of eyes of our employers looking at us.
“That, plus the town centre location, are things that make it an interesting development.”
At its height, around 80 workers will be onsite and coupled with two other projects in the pipeline for Willmott Dixon – starter offices on Neasham Road and a proposed multi-storey car park – up to 300 construction jobs could be created in Darlington over the next two years, along with the 400 DofE jobs saved.
Darlington Council chief executive Ada Burns said: “To think that it was only 12 months since the Department for Education announced that they would be leaving Darlington, and here we are today with work starting on the site.
“It is a real result of partnership working that will bring 400 jobs into the town centre.”
The public can keep up to date with the project online at www.darlington.gov.uk/dfeoffices which will link visitors to webcam images and construction information posted at key moments during the development.
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