TWO private sector-led business support groups which were launched to help spearhead economic growth in East Durham are playing a pivotal role in the area’s resurgence.
The Peterlee and Seaham Business Park groups are led by representatives from companies including NSK, Novares, Andrew James Worldwide, Aspen Wolf, Seaham Safety Services and Spectrum Business Park, who all take time out from their day jobs to do their bit to help shine a light on both business communities for the right reasons.
And over the last few years, the group has supported the growth of several existing employers, as well as assisting inward investors including Peterlee-based D & S Services, Icarus and Bristol Laboratories, and Seaham companies Northumbrian Water, Great Annual Savings Group, ResQ and Vivarail, all of whom have opened facilities or offices.
Collectively, these companies, alongside established businesses who have also added to their headcount, including ZF (formerly TRW), Profound Group, Sotech, Auxillis and Start Energy, have brought over 1,000 jobs into the East Durham area.
Steve Metcalfe, Chairman of the steering committee which manages the groups, said: “There’s no doubt both Peterlee and Seaham have undergone a massive transformation in recent years, and are now regarded as among the best and most prosperous business areas in the North East.
“Thanks to the work done by the group, supported by the passion of the wider East Durham business communities, we have helped rid the area of the negative reputation it had, and instead make it somewhere we are all proud to live and work in.”
The Peterlee Business Park Group was launched four years ago with the help of Business Durham, while the Seaham group came about in 2016 because of the demand from businesses in the area to have their own support group that could tackle issues affecting them, and offer advice in areas that help them grow, including access to finance, communications, transport and contract opportunities.
Leanne English from LEC Communications and Design also sits on the steering group. She said: “It’s fantastic to see how much our area has changed, and the feel-good factor that is now evident here. Where once there was ridicule, now there is pride, and with the positive shift in attitudes, we are seeing more and more businesses choose to locate here which is exactly what we wanted when we launched the groups.”
To find out more about the group, visit peterleebusiness.co.uk or seahambusiness.co.uk.