(l to r): Sarah Slaven, Interim MD at Business Durham, Jenny Taylor, Head of Economic Development at Durham University, Arun Harish, Strategy Director at CPI, Atif Syed CEO Wootzano, Dr Gary Gibson, founder of Dyman Advanced Materials, Cllr James Rowlandson, Cabinet Member for resources, investment and assets at Durham County Council and Amy Harhoff, Corporate Director regeneration and economic growth at Durham County Council.
Business Durham

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New £50 million NETPark expansion gets the green light

Plans to expand the North East Technology Park (NETPark) in Sedgefield, County Durham, have been given the go ahead Durham County Council, who has agreed to £49.6m to finance the first phase of NETPark’s expansion.The scheme will provide up to 270,000 sq ft of new laboratory, office, production and storage space, which will create over 1,200 jobs.

Since opening in 2004, NETPark has become a collaborative community of growing science, engineering and technology businesses and is home to over 40 companies and 600 people employed on-site, delivering high value jobs in County Durham. The new development will offer design and build opportunities from 5,000 – 80,000 sq ft as well as speculative units of various sizes.

The expansion space is needed so that companies can reach their full potential. NETPark Phase Three will be developed on council owned land to accommodate the growing demand, both from businesses already established in the park and from companies looking to relocate or expand their operations.

NETPark is managed by Business Durham, the business support service of Durham County Council, who will oversee the new development.

Cllr James Rowlandson, Cabinet Member for resources, investment and assets at Durham County Council, said: “It’s exciting to see NETPark’s Phase Three expansion going ahead. This investment reaffirms the Council’s original vision for NETPark and our commitment to the ongoing creation of a world class centre for businesses developing the next generation of advanced technologies.

“The plans to expand NETPark demonstrate the importance of NETPark to the region’s economy, not only is it the go to place for people and companies with great ideas and ambition, but it plays a key role in creating more and better jobs for our workforce. The expansion will create 1,250 direct jobs and a further 2,200 in the supply chain in thriving industries which will help deliver a strong and competitive economy.”

With demand for specialist facilities on-site increasing, NETPark Phase 3 will enable more high growth science, engineering and technology companies to design and build bespoke premises to grow, scale-up and commercialise their operations at the science park.

Dr Gary Gibson, founder of Dyman Advanced Materials, said: “I have worked for various companies at NETPark for the last 15 years and in that time have seen the science park grow from an initial incubator housing young innovative companies to a fully-fledged science park. As a business owner, in addition to the quality of the accommodation, the support provided by the team from Business Durham, have made the difficult journey of growing a business so much easier.

“I’ve had a chance to look at the ideas for the Phase Three development and the design and type of buildings will be a massively exciting enhancement to the park, providing accommodation that I believe will be hugely attractive to companies.”

Atif Syed, Chairman, CEO & Founder at NETPark based Wootzano Ltd said: “Wootzano is on a trajectory to build dexterous robotic systems for fruit packaging which has already started at NETPark within Explorer 2 office space. Following the £300 million deal Wootzano signed earlier this year, Wootzano is aiming to expand its manufacturing capabilities and is intending to take up over 80,000 sq ft space in NETPark Phase 3. We hope to continue our business expansion and places like NETPark are instrumental in our expansion.”

To find out more about NETPark Phase three visit www.northeasttechnologypark.com/phasethree

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Business Durham .

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