Durham MPs are due to meet with Government Minister Michael Gove to discuss creating more public service jobs in the city.
Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham, Paul Howell, MP for Sedgefield, and Dehenna Davison, MP for Bishop Auckland, are calling on the government to move civil service jobs to a new county hotel in Durham.
They say the building could also become the headquarters of the Advanced Research and Invention Agency, a new government body with a budget of £ 800million that will fund research.
Read more: Containment will end even if more die
MEPs presented their proposal to Mr Gove, the Minister of the Cabinet Office, in Parliament last week. Along with the leaders of Durham County Council, led by a partnership of Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Independent councilors, they have now written to request a meeting.
Mr Holden said: “I was delighted with the way Mr Gove responded to Paul Howell and my questions last week in Parliament and now how the leaders of the new joint administration are supporting my campaign.
“It shows that a new era of finding opportunities is sweeping our Board. I hope this is the start of a new era with a desire to invest in County Durham shared by local MPs and a local council who want to work together. “
The government has said it wants to move civil service jobs out of London and has already announced that more than 1,300 jobs are to be created in Darlington. The aim is to improve decision-making, boost the region’s economy and reduce office costs.
While Tory MPs hope to use the new council seat in central Durham, they also criticize the former Labor leadership of Durham County Council for its construction. Mr Holden called it a “poisonous white elephant” and said he and his colleagues were finding a new use for it “rather than remaining a vanity project that would weigh on local taxpayers for decades.”
Labor advisers fought back and said renovating the current headquarters would have cost far more than building a new one.
The new site would energize the city center by bringing in workers and allow the site of the old headquarters in Aykley Heads to be turned into a business park, according to the Labor Party.
Cllr Carl Marshall, leader of the Labor Group, said: “Some people don’t like progress and others actively oppose it. downtown, a “huge white elephant” demonstrates his lack of understanding of the impact of his government’s relentless austerity purge on Durham County Council.
“A council must deliver value for money to taxpayers – it will cost over £ 85million to bring existing County Hall up to standard. After more than a decade of austerity, this sum is not only insurmountable, but totally inefficient in terms of revenue and the increased carbon footprint it would generate.
“Aykley Heads is also aimed at over 4,000 jobs that cannot and will not be delivered if the site is not released – a proposition that has the full support of the business community.”
Subscribe to our ChronicleLive newsletters here.