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Is the Darlington Economic Campus a blueprint for successful civil service relocation?

Baroness Penn and Beth Russell joined us to discuss the impact of the Darlington Economic Campus on the civil service.

Panellists on stage at an event on civil service relocation in Darlington.
From left to right: Andrew Perkin, Baroness Penn, Alex Thomas, Beth Russell and Mike Hughes.

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The Darlington Economic Campus is rapidly establishing itself as the civil service’s flagship office outside of London – and has been described by chancellor Jeremy Hunt as moving “decision makers and advisers closer to the communities we serve.” 

So how has the Darlington Economic Campus changed the way policy is made? What difference has it made to the local area and is it contributing to the levelling up agenda? What are the factors behind the campus’s success and should it be used as a blueprint for future relocations? And what are the next steps in the government’s plan to relocate the civil servants from London? 

A recent IfG report has evaluated the impact of the Darlington Economic Campus on the civil service and the local area and set out recommendations for current and future relocations. 

At this event, which was held in Darlington, there was a welcome from Nigel Robinson from PA Consulting, and a short presentation from Jordan Urban, the report’s lead author. Baroness Penn, Treasury Lords Minister, responded to the IfG's research.

An expert panel discussion followed, featuring:

  • Jo Crellin, Director General, Trading Systems at the Department for Business and Trade
  • Mike Hughes, Business and Commercial Editor at The Northern Echo
  • Baroness Penn, Treasury Lords Minister
  • Andrew PerkinBusiness Growth and Investment Manager at Darlington Borough Council
  • Beth Russell, Second Permanent Secretary to the Treasury

The event was chaired by Alex Thomas, Programme Director at the Institute for Government.

Follow us on Twitter @ifgevents and join the conversation using #IfGcivilservice.

This event was kindly supported by PA Consulting.

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