Work gets underway on £6.6m business hub for Darlington

Darlington and Stockton Times: The first turf is cut by Ruth Thompson of Homes and Community Agency and Darlington Borough Council leader Bill Dixon at the site of Darlington’s Business Growth Hub. The first turf is cut by Ruth Thompson of Homes and Community Agency and Darlington Borough Council leader Bill Dixon at the site of Darlington’s Business Growth Hub.

WORK on a multi-million pound facility that supporters hope will create dozens of new businesses and jobs in Darlington has started with an official ground-breaking ceremony.

The Business Growth Hub, part of the town’s fledgling Central Park Enterprise Zone, will be able to house up to 64 new and small businesses at any one time, offering office space and practical support.

Digital enterprise, biologics and advanced engineering will be among the sectors supported at the site, which will be managed by Darlington Borough Council and operated by North East Business Innovation Centre (NE-BIC) Ltd.

Building work on the hub, located at the south side of Central Park, off Yarm Road close to Darlington Railway Station, got underway today (Tuesday) and is expected to take 12 months.

Funding for the £6.6m project came from the European Regional Development Fund, which provided £3.3m, and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

Business hubs similar to the facility planned for Darlington are already operating in North Tyneside and Sunderland.

The Darlington site is expected to support the creation of at least 25 new businesses and 350 new jobs, as well as providing accommodation for dozens of small businesses.

Darlington Borough Council has made economic regeneration and business creation a key staple of its budget plans for the coming years and it is hoped that the hub will kickstart the Central Park project.

Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “We need to create new jobs and generate income in the form of rates for the town and bring new employers here.

“This facility will also enhance what we’ve already got in Darlington. It’s not just about creating business space, the organisation running the hub will bring in other mechanisms around business support and helping small businesses to grow.

“Hopefully, once some of them are up and running, they’ll be able to go off to bigger premises elsewhere in the town.”

Naz Parkar, interim executive director at the HCA, said: “I am really pleased to see the start of the first commercial development at Central Park and I am confident that this will act as the catalyst for future development.

“Once completed next year, this building should help create over 300 jobs in the town by supporting new businesses as they develop and grow.”

Comments (10)

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5:04pm Tue 11 Mar 14

DarloXman says...

So you build an office block - which has a fast internet connection - and that will create jobs?? I don't think so.

We have plenty of empty offices in Darlington already! More waste of public money - wonder who is one the take from this funding?
So you build an office block - which has a fast internet connection - and that will create jobs?? I don't think so. We have plenty of empty offices in Darlington already! More waste of public money - wonder who is one the take from this funding? DarloXman
  • Score: 16

7:16pm Tue 11 Mar 14

oliviaden6 says...

Lights Camera action bring on that Bill Dixon fellow never one to miss a camera shoot Bless!!
Lights Camera action bring on that Bill Dixon fellow never one to miss a camera shoot Bless!! oliviaden6
  • Score: 15

9:23pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Border Terrier says...

The only jobs getting created, are in the South East and London. Sod all up here!
The only jobs getting created, are in the South East and London. Sod all up here! Border Terrier
  • Score: 4

10:23pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Spy Boy says...

How long overdue is this project now? 5 years? The area has been flattened for years and businesses have gone, or relocated. It really is about time that this got underway. I wonder why this took years and the new DofE office behind the Town Hall has taken weeks to get going? I think that Central Park could bring jobs, but we'll have to see. With all the plots earmarked for housing, this is going to add to the traffic in town by a huge amount. Yarm Road is already logjammed and this will make it much worse, even with the new £51 million Junction. Darlington has no realistic travel plan and never will while this Hard-of-thinking council is in power. They have not got a clue. People are already posting about the council taking back handers. Proof would be needed before you could post this sort of thing. I will just go along with the premise that they are simply totally inept. They waste money and it's our money that they are wasting. Vote them out next year and let's have a complete new council. We could do with losing a few executives too. These people are not value for money. Once again I ask you to forget the badges. Forget Parties. This lot are in it for themselves and don't give a toss which party they are in as long as they get elected.
How long overdue is this project now? 5 years? The area has been flattened for years and businesses have gone, or relocated. It really is about time that this got underway. I wonder why this took years and the new DofE office behind the Town Hall has taken weeks to get going? I think that Central Park could bring jobs, but we'll have to see. With all the plots earmarked for housing, this is going to add to the traffic in town by a huge amount. Yarm Road is already logjammed and this will make it much worse, even with the new £51 million Junction. Darlington has no realistic travel plan and never will while this Hard-of-thinking council is in power. They have not got a clue. People are already posting about the council taking back handers. Proof would be needed before you could post this sort of thing. I will just go along with the premise that they are simply totally inept. They waste money and it's our money that they are wasting. Vote them out next year and let's have a complete new council. We could do with losing a few executives too. These people are not value for money. Once again I ask you to forget the badges. Forget Parties. This lot are in it for themselves and don't give a toss which party they are in as long as they get elected. Spy Boy
  • Score: 8

11:27am Wed 12 Mar 14

bones26 says...

looks to me as though the turf was specially laid a day before the first piece of turf been dug up.nice to see dbc council leader got dressed for the part ,and he leads dbc .SCRUFF .im sure i saw him in the underpass near m&s playing a flute
looks to me as though the turf was specially laid a day before the first piece of turf been dug up.nice to see dbc council leader got dressed for the part ,and he leads dbc .SCRUFF .im sure i saw him in the underpass near m&s playing a flute bones26
  • Score: 3

11:50am Wed 12 Mar 14

johnny_p says...

What a great idea. Open a business hub while you're closing the airport.

But Bill Dixon and his cronies don't care- they're all being well paid.
What a great idea. Open a business hub while you're closing the airport. But Bill Dixon and his cronies don't care- they're all being well paid. johnny_p
  • Score: 6

12:33pm Wed 12 Mar 14

Lionel1 says...

johnny_p wrote:
What a great idea. Open a business hub while you're closing the airport. But Bill Dixon and his cronies don't care- they're all being well paid.
not sure flights from amsterdam and aberdeen would have much impact on this business park although being in walking distance of the railway station might. Part of the reason DfE agreed to move to the offices in town is that new government buildings must be within a 10 minute walk from a train station (something to do with reducing travel costs).
[quote][p][bold]johnny_p[/bold] wrote: What a great idea. Open a business hub while you're closing the airport. But Bill Dixon and his cronies don't care- they're all being well paid.[/p][/quote]not sure flights from amsterdam and aberdeen would have much impact on this business park although being in walking distance of the railway station might. Part of the reason DfE agreed to move to the offices in town is that new government buildings must be within a 10 minute walk from a train station (something to do with reducing travel costs). Lionel1
  • Score: -2

12:42pm Wed 12 Mar 14

johnny_p says...

Lionel1 wrote:
johnny_p wrote:
What a great idea. Open a business hub while you're closing the airport. But Bill Dixon and his cronies don't care- they're all being well paid.
not sure flights from amsterdam and aberdeen would have much impact on this business park although being in walking distance of the railway station might. Part of the reason DfE agreed to move to the offices in town is that new government buildings must be within a 10 minute walk from a train station (something to do with reducing travel costs).
My point is that business is unlikely to be attracted to an area that has poor transport links.

Teesside Airport seems to be the only airport in the UK that is reducing the number of flights it provides. Surely a better way of attracting business to the area would be if we had regular flights to places such as London?

We have plenty of available office space/business parks around Darlington. This council is seriously deranged,
[quote][p][bold]Lionel1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]johnny_p[/bold] wrote: What a great idea. Open a business hub while you're closing the airport. But Bill Dixon and his cronies don't care- they're all being well paid.[/p][/quote]not sure flights from amsterdam and aberdeen would have much impact on this business park although being in walking distance of the railway station might. Part of the reason DfE agreed to move to the offices in town is that new government buildings must be within a 10 minute walk from a train station (something to do with reducing travel costs).[/p][/quote]My point is that business is unlikely to be attracted to an area that has poor transport links. Teesside Airport seems to be the only airport in the UK that is reducing the number of flights it provides. Surely a better way of attracting business to the area would be if we had regular flights to places such as London? We have plenty of available office space/business parks around Darlington. This council is seriously deranged, johnny_p
  • Score: 6

5:17pm Wed 12 Mar 14

Blankface says...

Why Darlington?
The people there are never happy and moan about everything DBC do.
Why Darlington? The people there are never happy and moan about everything DBC do. Blankface
  • Score: -6

10:27pm Wed 12 Mar 14

thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth says...

Billy boy Dixon would get in where a rat wouldn't. The mere sight of this baffoon and his cronies makes me feel physically sick. It's just a shame that they're not digging a dirty great hole with them spades, so we could shovel them all in and bury them.

By the way I hope they're all passed the necessary course to be holding a spade.
Billy boy Dixon would get in where a rat wouldn't. The mere sight of this baffoon and his cronies makes me feel physically sick. It's just a shame that they're not digging a dirty great hole with them spades, so we could shovel them all in and bury them. By the way I hope they're all passed the necessary course to be holding a spade. thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth
  • Score: 2

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