Business chiefs say it is not all doom and gloom as hundreds of jobs are in the pipeline after new firms moved into an industrial park.
The past 12 months have seen a number of new businesses move onto Peterlee Business Park, including D&S Services, Icarus and Encore Envelopes.
The newest tenants have brought with them over £1million of investment and dozens of new jobs.
Joanne Urquhart-Arnold from Business Durham, sits on the Peterlee Business Park steering group which drives forward development for the East Durham area.
She said: “There’s a real positive vibe among the business community which is reflected in the many positive announcements from a number of employers during 2015.
“The encouraging thing is that growth is evident in a number of sectors, from manufacturing to pharmaceuticals, and it’s great to see the area doing so well.
“Now I think there’s an acknowledgement that it’s not all doom and gloom here, that our businesses are growing and in the process creating jobs, bringing a huge boost to the area and it’s community.”
Companies on the business park have expanded their workforces by around 600 collectively, with a further 200 jobs planned during 2016 and 2017.
The businesses - including TRW, The AMA Group, Albany Assistance, Peterlee Glass and Bristol Laboratories - have all outlined their intention to expand, bringing a much needed jobs-boost to the area, while, after a major investment, Peterlee Glass is looking to take on a number of skilled workers.