Park building

Sedgefield’s NETPark could see a £50m expansion

Durham County Council’s cabinet is considering investing in a third phase of the North East Technology Park (NETPark) at Sedgefield.

The expansion would take 2 years and cost the council £46.9m, depending on cabinet approval.

The cost of the investment would be covered by the income generated from rent paid by tenants at the site over a 35-year timeframe.

The development could generate up to 1,250 skilled jobs, helping deliver the council’s aim to create better quality jobs for the public, alongside being worth up to £625m to the County Durham economy.  

NETPark opened in 2000 and currently houses 40 companies, whilst employing over 600 people in specialist sectors.

A meeting is due to take place on Wednesday 15 September to discuss the scheme which will see the development of up to 170,000 square feet of new laboratory, office, production and storage space.

A third phase of NETPark would also result in a wide range of job opportunities such as scientists, technicians, administration, accounting, marketing, IT and logistics.

Dr Tim Hammond, Durham University's Director of Commercialisation and Economic Development, said “NETPark is a hugely important innovation asset for the North East.”

He added, “the proposed expansion will provide further accommodation to our growing number of spinouts, provide employment for our graduates and open further opportunities for innovative, high growth NETPark based businesses to collaborate and engage with the University through our Orbit University Enterprise Zone which has recently opened on site."

The investment in a third phase of NETPark has been celebrated by both Durham University and the North East LEP.

Cllr James Rowlandson, Cabinet Member for Resources, Investments and Assets, said “as the region's premier science and technology park, NETPark has been and remains a genuine success story.”

He continued, "it is home to some really innovative companies doing truly ground-breaking work and has certainly played its part in cementing County Durham's reputation as a great place to do business.”

The Councillor added, "it is really exciting to be contemplating a third phase of NETPark and the prospect of the further 1,250 skilled jobs worth £625m to our economy is tangible evidence of us delivering on our ambition to create more and better jobs for our residents."

Procurement work is due to take place this month to help identify a suitable construction partner.

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