BUSINESS Durham has been formed with the support of Durham County Council in response to the current, challenging economic environment.
Its responsibility is to play a leading role in the delivery of business support in the county. It will also take a strategic lead in continuing the diversification of the economic structure of the county through the creation and development of innovative and creative industries.
A key priority of Business Durham is to maximize the benefit of the county council’s business property portfolio. To support the achievement of that goal, a £3m project to develop more quality office environment in Consett has been given the go ahead, with construction due to begin in summer 2012.
Based at Consett Business Park, the high specification offices will provide a long-term facility for over 35 new start and existing small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to enable their future development and prosperity. It is expected to create over 80 jobs and support the overall regeneration of the Consett and North Durham area.
The project has secured £1.5m investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, with match funding being provided by Durham County Council.
The two-storey development will satisfy the significant increase in demand for small office units in the area offering easy in/easy out occupancy arrangements and providing access to excellent IT and business accommodation facilities.
The 2.2-acre site will also boast green credentials, being constructed to BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) “Excellent” standards – lowering carbon footprint.
The site is part of the successful Derwentside Business Centre complex managed by Business Durham. Businesses will have access to state-of-the-art facilities, including modern office accommodation with broadband connectivity, conference and meeting room facilities as well as access to a designated management team providing integral office services, such as reception and a telephony system.
Peter McDowell, business property manager for Business Durham, said: “This major office development will be a welcomed addition to the already successful facilities in the area and will make an important contribution towards satisfying the ever-growing demand for high-quality business space.
“Consett Business Park office development will be a huge boost to the economy of the county and is the next step in ensuring that public sector-led projects continue to lead the way in encouraging the economic growth of semi-rural locations.”
Business Durham’s property portfolio extends right across the County. Modern office space, industrial units and high-tech incubator units all offer a wide range of quality floor space suitable for most business sectors.
The state-of-the art Tanfield Lea Business Centre, which was awarded a “Very Good” BREEAM status, uses advances in technology to provide a greener environment for tenants, with the inclusion of solar paneling and natural air ventilation. The Business Centre provides 40,000sqft of modern office and workshop space for businesses in a revolutionary, three-storey building.
Similarly, St Stephen’s Court in Low Willington has 14 units that are built using sustainable materials. The single storey, high-spec offices provide a flexible start as well as move-on accommodation.
Other developments in the county include Durham Gate, the biggest mixed development scheme in County Durham. The site has had an overall investment of £100m, and will include 10,000sqm of office space, up to 2,000 jobs in offices, new residential and industrial premises and hotel, leisure and local retail services.
Modern floor space
NETPark has rapidly become one of the leading locations for emerging sciences and technology in the UK and for the commercialisation of cutting-edge R&D in the physical sciences.
Home to some of the North East’s most advanced technology companies in the physical sciences, particularly printable electronics, microelectronics, photonics, and nanotechnology and world-class research groups from Durham University, NETPark boasts the National Printable Electronics Centre – a facility of international significance which is now at the heart of the first national Technology Innovation Centre for High-Value Manufacturing.
There are a number of industrial units available at a range of sizes at 13 estates across the county, and units can be combined to create larger floor space.
Peter McDowell, added: “Here at Business Durham we want to make it as easy as possible for companies to move to new premises, establish a base for themselves or to expand their operations. We operate a number of the county’s business parks and other developments and supporting growing companies to expand. We are also able to offer a property finding service, using local knowledge to identify sites and properties that may be suitable to potential tenants.”
To find out more about how Business Durham can help you with your commercial property requirements, call 03000 261261, email business.support@ durham.gov.uk or visit www.business durham.co.uk
Business Durham provides dynamic and proactive support to the business community in County Durham, and is the business gateway to Durham County Council