THE Chancellor of the Exchequer will be based in Darlington for at least part of the working week when the Treasury moves out to the town in the near future, Rishi Sunak revealed on a flying visit to the Tees Valley this morning.

Mr Sunak was with the Prime Minister Boris Johnson at PD Ports to ram home how the region has been one of the greatest beneficiaries in Wednesday’s Budget.

They visited the site at Grangetown, Middlesbrough, where one of the first freeports, a new style of trading zone, is to be established.

Its creation was announced in the budget along with the relocation of 750 Treasury jobs to Darlington.

Mr Sunak said: “The PM has been very clear, it is not just for senior civil servants to be in these offices but for ministers as well, and I will be there, I will be there regularly, and that will be where the decisions are made.”

Mr Johnson added: “There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s going to be a massive thing for Darlington and the region.”

About the possibilities for a freeport on Teesside, Mr Johnson said: “There is also a dynamism that will come from a central freeport, which will be of great benefit to the whole of the region.

“Our ambition is to go from where we were when the steelworks closed six years ago, which was very sad, to a situation where we have 18,000 jobs in the freeport, and they can be in sectors like carbon capture and storage, wind technology, a huge range of possibilities opening up.

“I’m very excited by what I’ve seen here.”

Mr Sunak said: “Free trade zones and ports have been used to create tons of jobs.

“In the US almost half-a-million people are employed in over 200 free trade zones, so they work internationally, and we haven’t been able to do them in the way that we wanted to fully until we have left the EU.

“We are turbocharging them with really attractive incentives for business, making it easier for them to import and export, to invest in new equipment and plant, and also to employ people and we think all of that will lead to great local jobs.

“It will be genuinely transformational.”