The first artist impressions of a new multi-million pound business park development which could see the creation of more than 2,500 jobs have been released.
Planning permission for the development of at Jade Business Park, situated at the end of the 'road to nowhere' off the A19 near Dalton Park, has been submitted to Durham County Council.
As a first phase, Durham County Council is funding the construction of seven units (comprising 155,000 sq ft) at the site, near Murton, which will help revitalise east Durham.
If planning permission is granted, site works are expected to start in August this year and take around nine months.
The 55 acre site has the potential for up to 750,000 sq ft of space for offices, large scale manufacturing and distribution tenants.
The site will be owned by Durham County Council and managed by Business Durham, the economic development organisation for the county.
Brian Archer, managing director of Business Durham, which works on behalf of Durham County Council, said talks were well underway to secure the first tenant.
He said: “This is a fantastic collaboration between the county council and developer Highbridge to create ready-made units, particularly for International companies working in the thriving supply chains of major firms such as Nissan, Caterpillar and Komatsu. The position of this key site is perfect for access to the A19, the ports, airport and train stations.”
The project has been made possible due to the partnership between Durham County Council and Highbridge Developments, which is behind the UK’s largest office park, Cobalt, in North Tyneside.
Guy Marsden, director at Highbridge Properties PLC, said: “We’re excited to submit planning for the first phase of this proposed major inward investment site. Jade Business Park will give the local economy and employment market a tremendous boost – creating up to 2,500 jobs once the Jade scheme is completed.
"The first phase of the proposed development offers seven industrial buildings with service yards and integrated offices – all set in an easily accessible location, with the A19 trunk road providing links to Hartlepool, Sunderland and directly to major motorway networks.
"The site will also offer good public transport links, ample parking and electric vehicle charging stations."
The park, which is a former colliery and cokeworks, will become a designated Enterprise Zone.
The development has been made possible with almost £14m of funding for highway and infrastructure works from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) and the Highways Agency. It will help fund a programme of works to increase the capacity of the A19/A182 junctions serving the business park, which will allow for future growth.
The project received funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Helen Golightly, chief executive at the North East LEP, said: “Jade Business Park will be a significant site within the region offering an attractive location for high-value manufacturing businesses with excellent transport links.
"We are pleased to be able to support the necessary infrastructure works for this Enterprise Zone through the Local Growth Fund and look forward to seeing the site take shape with new businesses moving in and creating more and better jobs for the region.”
Coun Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “The Jade Business Park is a really exciting development for East Durham as it is one of our key strategic employment sites that will bring over 2,500 jobs to the area.
“We have worked hard with all partners to bring forward the development that will revitalise the former colliery, create much needed jobs in the county and support the wider plans to create more and better jobs to regenerate our towns and villages. ”