Terry Foster, founder of North East Access.
Austen Shakespeare

North East training firm plans growth with business recovery grant

A County Durham construction training provider has opened a dedicated training suite with the backing of the Durham Business Recovery Grant.

North East Access’ training courses are designed to equip tradespeople, mainly in the construction and maintained sectors, with the knowledge and skills to ensure they are certificated to operate motorised platforms and scaffold towers when working at heights.

The firm, based on the Drum Industrial Estate in Chester-le-Street, has invested £30k into a new training centre with 70 per cent provided through the Recovery Grant.

The move aims to boost the company’s capacity to train delegates and increase the variety of courses on offer.

Founder, Terry Foster, said: “We faced a tough time during the pandemic as we not only had to close our premises entirely for a while but also rethink how we could deliver our courses safely in the space we had. The capacity of our previous training room halved from 12 to six overnight, so we felt the financial hit immediately.”

The new centre accommodates at least 12 people and operates alongside the previous training room and a 21,000 square foot indoor area designed to simulate a variety of industry scenarios for working-at-height with cherry pickers and scissor lifts.

Terry said: “I am happy to report we are already recouping our losses and have positioned the business for sustained growth over the coming years by taking this ambitious step and investing in the new centre.

“This has allowed us to increase the number of people we can train and explore ways to expand our range of courses. I tip my hat to Andrea McGuigan and the team at Business Durham for their never-ending support and advice throughout this uncertain period and helping us make this development happen.”

The grant scheme overseen by Business Durham, the business support service of Durham County Council, has now closed.

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