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The Government are committed to levelling up across the UK, and relocating roles to the regions and nations of the UK. The Places for Growth programme in the Cabinet Office is driving the necessary planning within Departments and public bodies, and a commitment to relocating 3,000 roles within public bodies has already been secured.
I thank my right hon. Friend for her answer, and I welcome her to her place. Darlington remains a transport hub for our entire region, thanks to the hard work of our excellent combined authority Mayor, Ben Houchen. Teesside airport has reopened Tees Valley to the rest of the country and to international interest. Given the area’s international links and its excellent rail, road and air connections, will my right hon. Friend consider Darlington and Tees Valley as a location for public bodies?
I would like to start by paying tribute to Ben Houchen and all his excellent work as the Tees Valley Mayor, and also to my hon. Friend for highlighting the strengths of Darlington. There are already approximately 800 civil servants in Darlington, and 29,000 across the north-east. Given this strength, the north-east region will certainly benefit from the relocation of civil service roles under the Places for Growth programme.
I welcome the Minister to her place. Cornwall has 650 miles of the most beautiful coastline in the country and a fishing industry desperately keen to make the most of the opportunities of Brexit. Does my right hon. Friend share my view that Cornwall would be a great location in which to base the Marine Management Organisation?
I congratulate my hon. Friend on making sure that Cornwall’s voice is well and truly heard. Our focus is on relocating civil service roles in public bodies across the UK, and as part of this we are ensuring that any functions that are repatriated following EU exit are established in the regions and nations of the UK. My hon. Friend will be reassured to hear that the Marine Management Organisation already has several offices in the south-west, including one in Cornwall.