DCMS unveils Mancunian hub for 400 staff

Digital department to set up shop in the city centre

The Manchester skyline    Credit: Richard Heyes/Tecmark Limited/CC BY 2.0

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has set out further details of its plans to create hundreds of jobs beyond London and move significant parts of its operation out of the capital.

It has named Marble Street in Manchester city centre, a stone’s throw from Piccadilly Gardens, as the location for its new hub, which will be the base for up to 400 staff.

Details first emerged last year of DCMS’s plans to open up a Mancunian base. The plans came against the backdrop of the government’s Places for Growth ambition to move 22,000 civil service roles out of London by the end of the decade. But this week’s announcement provided further detail of the department’s plans to relocate or create around 700 jobs in other parts of the country.

DCMS said its Manchester location will contain the head office for Building Digital UK, which is driving the government’s £5bn Project Gigabit programme to roll out faster broadband across the UK.


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The department said its plans will ensure decisions being made about the arts, culture, sport, media and heritage better reflect the communities they impact.  It is also intended to allow greater proximity to arm’s-length bodies and partners in the media, cyber and digital sectors.

Last year, the Competition and Markets Authority also said it was planning to base its fledgling Digital Markets Unit in Manchester and expected to have around 200 staff in the city by 2025.

As well as confirming Marble Street as the location for its Manchester base, DCMS quantified the number staff it expects to be based at Darlington for the first time. It said “almost 200” of its officials will have the Treasury’s economic campus as their main workplace, rubbing shoulders with colleagues from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Education, and the Treasury.

DCMS also reiterated its plans to expand its presence in Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh and Loughborough.

It said sporting bodies including UK Anti-Doping and Sport England will move to Loughborough University SportPark, while the core department will also move “some of its Whitehall roles” to the East Midlands sports facility.

Digital and 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,” she said. “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.”

 

Sam Trendall

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