MORE than 170 jobs will be created after councillors moved to invest in Britain’s first digital bank.
Durham County Council has taken a share in Atom, based on the rent for Northumbria House on the Aykley Heads, which will become the bank’s HQ.
The council says the agreement has supported the fledgling company at a crucial time – enabling it to prepare for its launch as a fully digital bank this year.
The authority has subscribed to just over 150,000 shares in the company.
Councillor Neil Foster, responsible for economic regeneration in Durham, said: “It’s expected Atom will then take on a larger building in the area.
“This is a cutting-edge business and it’s absolutely right that we find an innovative way to ensure that the hundreds jobs which will follow come to Durham.
“I believe we have demonstrated forward-thinking partnership working which has not only already ensured a multi million pounds investment here, but sent a clear message to the business world.
“We must continue to work with the private sector to attract and retain investment, create jobs and broaden the portfolio of businesses establishing their bases here.”
The deal was brokered by the council’s business arm, Business Durham, after an approach by Atom in the spring of 2014.
Managing Director, Simon Goon, said: “Sites both within and outside the region were under scrutiny and this gave us a real opportunity to bring in hundreds of good quality jobs in financial services and cutting edge technology.
“By subscribing to shares based on the rent we have shown how flexible we can be in working with the private sector.
“I have also already been approached by a number of other companies interested in setting up business close to Atom so this deal will act as a catalyst for further investment in Durham City.”