A CENTRE which has helped “catalyse” business in Teesdale has celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Enterprise House, based at the Harmire Enterprise Park, in Barnard Castle, opened in 1998 as a "one-stop shop" and has been supporting Dale businesses ever since.

Designed to provide affordable, fully-serviced and virtual office space and meeting rooms with the latest technology; the centre, as the Teesdale Development Company, has stood the test of time when other public sector funding projects have fallen by the wayside.

During its time the centre has been the home of the likes of Houghall College of Agriculture, the Enterprise Agency, Bishop Auckland Training College and Radio Teesdale.

In 2004 it expanded its role as a centre for managed workspace, providing small units for start-up businesses in the large workshop training area vacated by Houghall College.

The company successfully bid for funds to develop the space into small i-space units for start-up enterprises which would specifically benefit from new IT and broadband with a shared reception and conference rooms. Further funding meant a lift was added in 2009.

And it still adheres to the same founding objective today: to work in partnership with other organisations to maximise resources, expertise and benefits for the community.

Since 2014 its board of directors has also ran the Teesdale Business Awards.

More than 30 people connected with the company gathered at the centre on Tuesday to celebrate the milestone and enjoy a buffet and 3D cake of the building.

A bench has also been placed outside the centre to encourage tenants to take a breather every day.

Giving a speech as part of the reception, Enterprise House's chairman, Alastair Dinwiddie, said: "The world of public sector funded projects has changed dramatically in the last decade and this has required considerable creativity on our part to remain an Enterprise hub."

"We endeavour to be the first port of call to aspiring businesses," he added. "In these challenging times Enterprise House thrives, continuing to 'catalyse enterprise in Teesdale' and in itself represents a pretty unique example of a successful public sector investment where so many have failed."