Both growing tenants and inward investors are being targeted. Credit: DCC

Kier begins £61m NETPark expansion

Work has started on 232,000 sq ft of new space at the Sedgefield science park following the contractor’s appointment.

Led by Durham County Council, the development of phase three of The North East Technology Park has now begun in earnest. The council is funding the scheme with support from the North East LEP.

The new phase of the park will include up to 232,000 sq ft of laboratory, office and production space, covering an initial 17.3 acres, potentially rising to almost 40 acres.

DCC is looking to provide both grow-on space for existing tenants and space for incoming inward investors.

Cllr Amanda Hopgood, leader of the local authority, said: “It is really exciting to have started work on the third phase of NETPark and to have appointed Kier to deliver the project.

“We are delighted to be making a significant investment in the expansion and grateful to the North East LEP for its support, which is in recognition of the fantastic employment opportunities that NETPark presents our region.”

NETPark opened in 2004 and is now home to 40 companies, including significant employers such as Kromek, Filtronic, IBEX Innovations and PolyPhotonix.

In all, NETPark employs more than 700 people in specialist sectors including advanced materials and manufacturing, nanotechnology, x-ray technology, semiconductors, defence, electronics, photonics, robotics, pharmaceutical and space/satellites.

Development of phase three is expected to be complete by early 2025. Looking beyond that, a further 108 acres around the site has been designated as development land, paving the way for a fourth phase at least.

Lucy Winskell, chair of the North East LEP, said: “NETPark has undoubtedly been one of our region’s biggest economic success stories. Home to three national innovation centres, as well as a community of science and technology companies that have helped grow key sectors across the North East, NETPark has proven its ability to secure investment into our region and create jobs.”

Phase three has the potential to create 1,250 skilled jobs and to be worth £625m to the local economy over the next 10 years, Durham said.

The appointment of Kier to deliver the expansion builds on the work the company has been doing as pre-construction partner.

Daniel Doherty, regional director of Kier North and Scotland, said: “This is an exciting project for Kier which represents the ongoing importance of the North East as an area of growth for us, as well as our commitment to delivering outstanding projects in the science sector.

“We are looking forward to delivering a project befitting of Durham County Council’s vision and which will leave a lasting impact on the local community for years to come.”

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