Durham County Council has submitted a hybrid planning application for the development of a new business park that could create 4,000 new jobs.
The business park, which would be located at Aykley Heads (DH1), would consist of office buildings and car parking spaces, and would be situated close to the East Coast Main Line and cycling routes.
Aykley Heads is already home to Atom Bank, and businesses such as Waterstones and the North East Chamber of Commerce, and the County Council hopes that more businesses will follow these ones and set up branches in Durham.
The decision to submit the planning application follows a decision by the Labour-controlled County Council cabinet in January 2018 to relocate their headquarters, allowing County Hall and the surrounding land to be redeveloped as a business park.
The park could create 4,000 new jobs worth up to £400 million, and it is estimated that an additional 1,800 jobs could be supported by the construction of the park.
Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council, told The Chronicle that the new park “has huge transformational potential for Durham” and that it will bring thousands of new jobs at a time when they are “greatly needed” in Durham, and across the North-East region.
He added: “Durham has huge advantages and we believe we will be able to compete with major cities right across the UK.”
Chief Executive of the North East Chamber of Commerce, James Ramsbotham also told The Chronicle “possessing a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an internationally renowned university, Durham offers so much to so many businesses.”
If planning permission is granted, work will begin on the business park in 2021.
Image: Stanley Howe via Creative Commons