First phase of plans for Jade Business Park set for approval – The Northern Echo


A NEW multi-million pound business park development on a former colliery which could see the creation of more than 2,500 jobs in County Durham is set for approval.

As a first phase, Durham County Council is funding the construction of seven units, comprising 155,000 sq ft, at Jade Business Park, next to the A19 and Dalton Park.

County council planning officers have recommended that members of a planning committee meeting at County Hall on Tuesday  endorse the plans.

The project has been made possible thanks to the partnership between the county council and Highbridge Developments, which is behind the UK’s largest office park, Cobalt, in North Tyneside.

If agreed, site works are expected to start in August this year and take around nine months. The road leading directly from the site to the A19 has already been completed.

The 55-acre site has the potential for up to 750,000 sq ft of space for offices, large scale manufacturing and distribution tenants.

The site will be owned by the county council and managed by Business Durham, the economic development organisation for the county.

Brian Archer, managing director of Business Durham, said talks were well underway to secure the first tenant.

He said: “This is a fantastic collaboration between the county council and developer Highbridge to create ready-made units, particularly for International companies working in the thriving supply chains of major firms such as Nissan, Caterpillar and Komatsu.

“The position of this key site is perfect for access to the A19, the ports, airport and train stations.”

Guy Marsden, director at Highbridge Properties PLC, said: “The first phase of the proposed development offers seven industrial buildings with service yards and integrated offices – all set in an easily accessible location, with the A19 trunk road providing links to Hartlepool, Sunderland and directly to major motorway networks. The site will also offer good public transport links, ample parking and electric vehicle charging stations.

“Jade is a new generation Enterprise Zone and will provide flexible and bespoke solutions for businesses to tailor to their exact needs and, with support packages available from this government led site, it is a very attractive location for business occupiers and investors alike.”

The park, which is a former colliery and cokeworks, will become a designated Enterprise Zone.

The development has been made possible with almost £14m of funding for highway and infrastructure works from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) and the Highways Agency.

It will help fund a programme of works to increase the capacity of the A19/A182 junctions serving the business park, which will allow for future growth.

The project received funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Helen Golightly, chief executive at the North East LEP, said: “Jade Business Park will be a significant site within the region offering an attractive location for high-value manufacturing businesses with excellent transport links. We are pleased to be able to support the necessary infrastructure works for this Enterprise Zone through the Local Growth Fund and look forward to seeing the site take shape with new businesses moving in and creating more and better jobs for the region.”