The Immigration Minister, Robert Goodwill arrived today (2 September) in Durham to cut the ribbon and officially open the new passport office at Freeman’s Reach.
Alongside Mark Thomson, Director General of HM Passport Office, the minister spent time meeting with staff and customers and delivered a speech to mark the opening of the site, which is home to the largest passport office in the UK.
Over 1,100 staff work at the passport office in Durham, making it one of the major employers in the area. Each year, the office deals with approximately 2 million postal and online applications for passports and over 35,000 customers will attend the public counter for passport appointments.
Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said:
I am delighted to open the new passport office in Durham today. This fantastic new building provides a more comfortable and welcoming environment for customers and staff alike and will ensure we continue to deliver the highest standards.
The passport office has been one of Durham’s largest employers for almost 2 decades and is integral to meeting the needs of passport customers both in the UK and overseas. I’d like to thank Durham County Council, developers Carillion and the HM Passport Office team for making this move possible.
Each year, HM Passport Office issues around 7 million passports, operating 7 regional passport offices and a network of interviewing sites across the UK.