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Department for Education office development

4,000 sq m extension to Darlington Town Hall on constrained urban site

This flagship development for end-user the Department for Education (DfE) involved building a 4,000 sq m, four-storey extension to Darlington town hall.

It accommodates 400 DfE staff. The client is Darlington Borough Council which shares a 'collaboration space' with the DfE.

The project included a nine-week archaeological dig where the Willmott Dixon team unearthed the former Bishop’s Palace.

Construction access for this town centre project was difficult, with the River Skerne running along the eastern boundary of the site and the existing town hall to the west, and site logistics had to be well planned and managed. The office block also has a ‘collaboration space’ which is shared with Darlington Borough Council.

The client satisfaction score was 159/160. The project manager also won sliver at the Construction Manager awards - see here.

"I was very happy with the Willmott Dixon team on this project. Their 'nothing was too much trouble' attitude helped turn a demanding project in to an enjoyable experience for everyone at Darlington Borough Council. We (and the DfE) have a fantastic new office building, our first in over 30 years."

Brian Robson, Head of Capital Projects Darlington Borough Council

Sustainability achievements

  • 87% of supplier spend with 40 miles
  • 95% of waste diverted from landfill


  • High quality office space for 400 DfE staff
  • Logistical challenges due to constrained site and town centre location
  • BREEAM Excellent-rated
  • 95% of waste diverted from landfill
  • Client satisfaction score of 159/160
  • Part of Darlington's flagship new build construction programme
  • Offices completed five weeks early




Willmott Dixon House, Cliffe Park, Bruntcliffe Road, Morley, Leeds, West Yorkshire

LS27 0RY

Tel: 0113 238 3283

Fax: 0113 238 0286