Work to build Feethams House, an £8.5m office complex in the heart of Darlington town centre, is now complete.
Construction work on the five-storey building, funded by Darlington Borough Council, the Tees Valley mayor and combined authority and the European Regional Development Fund, has continued throughout the coronavirus lockdown after contractor Wilmott Dixon put stringent safety measures in place around the site.
The first tenant for the site will be subsea innovators DeepOcean, who have signed an agreement to take 7,000sq ft of space across the whole of the top floor of the building.
It is hoped the company will be able to move into its new home this summer, depending on lockdown restrictions.
Talks are continuing with other potential tenants for the 30,000sq ft office, which offers accommodation for small and medium businesses in the professional services, digital and creative fields.
Councillor Heather Scott, leader of Darlington Council, said: “Feethams House is a marvellous example of the ambition we have in Darlington to keep moving our economy forward.
“It is a new opportunity for businesses in the town who are looking to grow or to welcome new businesses who are drawn here by what we have to offer.
“Feethams House is in an excellent position, close to the town centre and our excellent rail and road links and offers office accommodation of the highest standard.
“Thank you to all the building contractors who have worked so hard to get it finished in the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves, it is a tremendous effort on their part.”
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said: “The completion of Feethams House is another big step forward in our plans for Darlington.
“It will provide the Grade A-office space we need to allow local businesses to grow and to attract major firms to the region, creating jobs for local people in the process. This is why we agreed to invest £3.2m into the project.
“There has already been a huge amount of interest, with DeepOcean, a business which will play a crucial role in the offshore sector in our region, already signed up, and I am delighted to hear that talks are on-going with a number of other potential occupiers.
“I want to pay particular thanks to the construction workers who have carried on working with stringent safety measures in place during this unusual time to get the project finished.
“It is another example of the potential we have as a region and shows why businesses should invest right here in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.”