DCMS sign

DCMS expands Northern regional presence as part of levelling up drive

Hundreds of new jobs will be created in Manchester and the North East of England as the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) opens new offices as part of government plans to level up regions across the UK.

The department has today announced the official opening of its new hub, accommodating up to 400 staff in Manchester city centre, creating a large presence in the city.

DCMS is expanding its presence across the UK, with staff to be based in Belfast, Cardiff, Darlington, Edinburgh and Loughborough.

The Darlington Economic Campus, a new shared site in the North East for the Treasury, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Education, will have almost 200 DCMS staff based there.

These moves are part of the government’s commitment to relocating 22,000 Civil Service roles out of Central London and the South East by 2030.

Commenting, Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries said:

“The days of London-centric decision making belong in the past. It’s an exciting time for DCMS as we expand our regional offices and tap into a more diverse talent pool.

“Our strength comes from our people and this will allow us to recruit the best, wherever they may be, to deliver the wide range of DCMS policies which drive growth and enrich lives all over the UK.”

The move comes following the government’s publication of its Levelling Up White Paper, which outlines its ambition to breathe new growth and create jobs and wealth in all parts of the country.

The whitepaper included the government’s Places for Growth strategy, which seeks to address regional inequalities and improve areas by making sure local and regional considerations are central to government decision-making.

These plans will ensure that decisions being made about the arts, culture, sport, media and heritage better reflect the communities they impact, the government said.

In particular, the plans will allow greater proximity to the department’s arms-length bodies and partners in the media, cyber and digital sectors, they added.

The new DCMS Manchester offices will contain the head office for Building Digital UK (BDUK), which recently announced that it was becoming an executive agency.

BDUK is the driving force behind Project Gigabit, the government’s £5bn plan to roll out faster broadband to hard-to-reach and rural areas and deliver gigabit-capable connections to 85% of UK homes by 2025.

Leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Bev Craig added:

“This is welcome news. Not only is it a reflection of Manchester’s role as a Northern epicentre for culture, media and sport, and our thriving tech sector, it is also a move which should help stimulate further innovation and investment in the city and beyond.

“The city is at the heart of a huge and diverse talent pool and tapping into will benefit the government, as well as bringing hundreds of jobs and other opportunities here.”

DCMS, which has more than 2,000 employees, is aiming to be the most diverse and inclusive government department by 2025 and said that the moves announced today will play a vital role in achieving these aims.

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