New industrial units proposed amid strong demand for business space

A proposal to build up to 28 new industrial units in County Durham will go before councillors next week.

Durham County Council is proposing to build the units on land it owns at South Church Enterprise Park in Bishop Auckland. Aimed at new and young small businesses, the 1,000 to 2,000 sq foot units will come with “wrap around” support provided by Business Durham.

The proposal will be considered by members of the council’s Cabinet when they meet next Wednesday (13 March).

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, the council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “There’s currently a shortage of industrial units in the county and it’s restricting the growth of new and existing companies. Demand is consistently outstripping supply.

“That shortage is particularly acute in the Bishop Auckland area, and we’re in a position to do something about it. Developing these new units will go some way to meeting pent-up demand and will support more than 20 businesses and more than 110 jobs.

“We’ve made the development of high-quality premises on employment sites one of the main priorities of our Inclusive Economic Strategy after businesses told us finding suitable premises that are central and accessible is a challenge.

“It’s all about creating the conditions for businesses to thrive and create more and better jobs in an inclusive green economy.”

The £8.5m project will be funded by £1.5m from the government’s Stronger Towns Fund and £1.8m from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, with the remainder being committed by the council. The cost of the council’s contribution will be met by the future rental income generated from the completed units. 

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