A FINANCIAL boss who made the move from London to Darlington has said Treasury workers who relocate will find it a “fantastic place to live”.
In the Budget Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the North East market town will be the base for the Treasury campus, dubbed Treasury North, bringing around 750 jobs.
Andrew Craddock, chief executive of Darlington Building Society, told the PA news agency: “I moved up two and a half years ago.
“I spent most of my career in financial services in London.
“I got a call from a recruiter asking me about the building society and to be honest I had never heard of Darlington.
“I came up for the interview and loved the place. I think its a fantastic place to live.”
Mr Craddock, who previously lived in Buckinghamshire and commuted into London, listed the things he appreciated about his new home town: “The cost of living, the affordability of housing, the transport links.
“I can get to London in two and a half hours on the train, it’s in the middle of the countryside and close to the coast.
“There are so many amenities and places to visit.
“The people are fantastic and I have become an honorary Teessider.”
Simon Wright, director of Robinson’s chain of estate agents, lives in Piercebridge, just outside Darlington.
He said the town – positioned on the A1, the A66, the East Coast Main Line and close to the expanding Tees Valley Airport – is well-positioned within an hour of Newcastle, York, the Lake District and the coast.
It has decent schools, the Michelin-starred Raby Hunt restaurant in a nearby village and an improving town centre, the estate agent said.
It has a range of housing with prices that people in the South East would envy.
Less than £500,000 would buy a spacious, five-bedroom, open-plan home in Low Coniscliffe, Mr Wright said.
A large six or seven-bedroom Victorian home in the town centre could be had for less than £350,000, while a two-bed terrace might go for £60,000.
Someone with a £1 million budget “could take their pick”, Mr Wright said.
“£1 million would get you an extremely luxurious property here, potentially with some land,” he said.
“On the outskirts you could get a beautiful barn conversion for that.
“Looking further afield to Wynyard, where the rich and famous footballers live, £1.5 million could get you a house with a swimming pool.
“Darlington has a diverse range of houses, from Georgian to Victorian, through to Edwardian, all the way through to more modern homes.
“This is great news for the expanding town.”