A £6.83m investment in one of the country’s most prestigious science parks could lead to 1,400 jobs being created.
The North East Technology Park, (NETPark), in Sedgefield, has received funding from the Local Growth Fund (LGF) for infrastructure works for the next phase of its ambitious plans to provide space for high-tech, fast growing companies.
The grant will help fund a 1km access road from the A177 to the new 26 acre development at the north of the park, creating additional space for research and development companies who need room to prototype and scale up to manufacture on site.
NETPark, which is run by Business Durham, the economic development company for County Durham, is home to some of the world’s most innovative companies. It is believed the latest phase could lead to the creation of 1,400 jobs.
Peter McDowell, business property director at Business Durham, said: “This exciting next phase in NETPark’s expansion will open up possibilities for growing companies wanting more space, be they existing businesses on the park or companies who want to locate here.
“Many of NETPark’s existing companies have expressed a desire to expand on the park and we’ve also had interest from companies outside of the region.”
Planning permission for the new road will be submitted next month, and, subject to approval, work will start on site in January 2017.
The project is funded by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (North East LEP) as part of the North East Growth Deal from the Government. The Local Growth Fund is a key element of the funding, and supports major capital investments to promote innovation, economic and skills infrastructure and sustainable transport across the North East LEP area.
Helen Golightly, chief operating office at the North East LEP, said: “The Local Growth Fund is designed to help businesses and organisations push forward with major capital projects that will create new jobs and economic growth.
“NETPark is an excellent example of the type of project we aim to support through smart, strategic and focused investment and we are pleased to see the work moving forward.”
The development forms part of the 10-year strategy for NETPark, which includes creating 3,000 jobs and adding another £400m to the region’s GVA.
It is already home to Durham University’s Centre for Advanced Instrumentation, two of the Government’s Catapult centres – the North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence and High Value Manufacturing, and four national technology centres: the Printable Electronics, Formulation, Graphene Applications and Healthcare Photonics, all managed by the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI). NETPark’s dynamic and supportive environment accelerates the growth of ambitious, innovative, high tech companies into global markets.
• Pictured (above, left to right): Fergus Mitchell, property investment manager at NETPark, Loulia Christakopoulou, site engineer from AECOM, Anthony Evans, Ian Thompson and Oliver Rogers from Dunelm GeoTechnical & Environmental starting the ground investigation at NETPark for the 1km access road from the A177 to the new 26 acre development site.