A global investment company has bought land at Urlay Nook, Eaglescliffe.

The US-based Flacks Group, run by Michael Flacks, who is reputably worth more than $600m according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, has entered an agreement with Elementis for the 500-acre former Chromium manufacturing site, which ceased production in 2009, and surrounds the headquarters of the North East Air Ambulance.

In an interview from his Miami base, Michael Flacks said that there could be up to £2bn invested in the site over the next ten years.

He said: “There’s no romantic story for this. Everything we do is because we buy tired and broken processes – that’s our mantra. So we got told about a year ago, that Elementis had closed down this site years ago and were looking for a solution. So I went there and studied everything around.

Darlington and Stockton Times: The former Elementis land.  Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

“I’m not a registered charity. I’m doing this because there’s money in wind and battery storage.”

The Flacks Group specialises in the acquisition and operational turnaround of medium-sized businesses in complex situations ‘where a rapid solution is of paramount importance’.

Michael was born in Manchester and started the company in 1983 and is known for complex and challenging turnarounds that have unlocked billions of dollars. Now he has big plans for the Eaglescliffe site.

“It’s got to be mixed-use, you can’t just put one category on there,” he said. “So it’s not going to be just warehousing and it’s not going to be truck parking or just residential. Let’s work with the city – the banks aren’t stupid, they are going to say ‘look, this is what’s needed’.”

He’s a big fan of the attention the region is getting at the moment, and says the whole country is an investment hotspot: “I don’t think Britain can go through a worse stage, even if there’s a change of government and Labour comes in. It’s not going to affect money coming from outside. There’s nothing wrong with what’s here, so I’m betting big on the UK.”