The home of business and science on Teesside. That’s how the Wilton Centre bills itself.
But the 75-acre site, once the Teesside HQ of chemical giant ICI, is so much more than that. Way more, in fact.
Just take a look at the list of companies who have made the complex their home between the foot of the Eston Hills and the coastal town of Redcar.
Long and varied, it includes giant multi-nationals from chemical process company SABIC to technology innovators CPI; from international electrical safety training providers The Faraday Training Group to a whole host of engineering, research, development and science-based industries. IT, financial services and logistics companies also call the Wilton Centre home.
And there’s a very good reason.
Its slice of Teesside industrial history is guaranteed but when it comes to the here and now, the red brick complex has a lot to offer.
“We work on the basis that we can look after a lot of things that many companies would otherwise have to do themselves, allowing them to focus on the job,” says Wilton Centre site director Steve Duffield.
“For instance, we have a reception desk, fire alarms, safety and site security staff; if you are a lab company, we have the systems to help safely dispose of various waste products, for example.
“Our aim is to offer straightforward solutions whatever your business needs, big or small.”
It is a successful recipe, as evidenced by the many and varied companies that occupy the site.
“We can offer business space for start-ups or one-person companies who might need just 100 feet of floor space up to a full floor or more,” says Claire Morton, accommodation manager.
“We have offices, labs and meeting rooms in our main buildings. We also have large technical development areas.
“A number of businesses come here and start off quite small but we have seen them grow and have been able to help them with that growth.”
One of them is Lynas Engineering. The site’s location and home to the North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) has proved a positive.
“The location has been perfect for us,” says senior engineer Matt Taylor. “When we started out there were just two of us in a small office but we had access to the meeting rooms and plenty of parking facilities for visiting clients.
“We are in to our fourth office now since January 2017 and the Centre has worked with us to grow. The location means we have also got involved with other businesses here. For an SME like us, being here has opened up markets we wouldn’t have had access to.
“And when we have asked for help, the Wilton Centre team have always been here.”
• Wilton Centre forms part of a national network of science parks. At 1.7 million square feet and with more than 200 businesses, it is one of the UK’s largest science park networks going by the name of The Knowledge Factory.
• Wilton Centre prides itself on being an ‘ideas facilitator.’ It has specialist facilities for innovation companies, facilities for research and development with the aim of helping companies to thrive without the hassle of real estate.
• Community? The businesses at Wilton do their bit – Centre management recently hosted a barbecue for occupiers which raised £3,000 for Normanby baby hospice Zoe’s Place.
• Technology partner? Broadband speeds are all important and a partnership between Wilton Centre and ITS Technology Group has ensured ultra-fast connectivity, thanks to a newly launched wireless network that uses the building as its hub.