Business leaders and local dignitaries came together to officially open the new facilities at the fast-growing science and technology park in Sedgefield.
The North East Technology Park (NETPark) in County Durham has officially opened its new Explorer facilities, which are designed to house innovative, fast growing companies operating in high-tech, global markets.
Business Durham, the economic development organisation for County Durham, received £3.2m investment from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund towards the £7.2m development, which already houses two new tenants, x-ray imaging specialist IBEX and electronics firm PragmatIC.
Brian Archer, managing director of Business Durham, which manages NETPark on behalf of Durham County Council, said: “NETPark offers a dynamic environment for high-tech companies wanting to make a big impact in global markets. The exceptional facilities at the Explorer development only strengthens its offering to companies wanting to grow and locate here going forward.”
NETPark is the only science park in the UK with two Catapult centres – High Value Manufacturing, the catalyst for the future growth and success of manufacturing, and Satellite Applications, which supports companies by opening up opportunities using satellite data and technology.
The Explorer building was officially opened by Stuart Martin, chief executive officer of the Satellite Applications Catapult, who is in the region on a two day visit and will be speaking at a prestigious space conference in Durham today (22 March).
“Space is a growing sector in the North East and the Explorer development provides even more opportunities for companies to access the facilities and support they need to excel in this market,” he said.
“The Centre of Excellence at NETPark, has engaged with more than 350 businesses in the region, exploring the potential for space technology and data to grow their companies. Since the Centre launched, ten new space-based businesses have been created, providing over 80 new jobs.”
Cllr Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council, added: “NETPark is already home to some of the world’s most innovative businesses and the Explorer development will open up even greater opportunities for companies to grow and flourish here.
“This expansion demonstrates our commitment to creating a bright future for people who live, work and study in County Durham and we are confident these new facilities will attract further investment to our region.”
The Explorer development forms part of the 10-year strategy for NETPark, which includes creating 3,000 jobs and adding another £400m to the region’s GVA.
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