Aycliffe Business Park Community (ABPC) has launched a new campaign to gather more information on companies and enable them to put themselves literally On The Map.

The new company, which was officially formed with 11 board members earlier this year, has already started engaging in a number of initiatives to improve visibility and awareness for firms on the park.

The company has plans to overhaul the ABPC website, with particular attention to improving the directory and news sections, and is currently going through a tender process, inviting local website firms to carry out the work.

In the meantime, the board has identified the need for a more comprehensive and up-to- date directory of companies that currently reside on the park.

ABPC believes there could be as many as 500 registered businesses – some of which are relatively unknown – and the board has now embarked on an information-gathering campaign, dubbed On The Map, to compile a more definitive record.

The main objectives of the project will be to:

• Put businesses ‘On the Map’ – increasing their visibility and showcasing their offer to other businesses on the park.

• Ensuring businesses on the park are aware of the external support available and how this can be accessed

• Encouraging membership of the Aycliffe Business Park Community.

South Durham Enterprise Agency chief executive and ABPC board member Steve Robson said: “This On The Map project is an obvious next step in developing the business park as a community.

“With potential benefits for suppliers and buyers it will support the understanding of what is both sold and purchased on the park, and will further encourage local trade and the development of local supply chains. This will in turn support the sustainability and growth of businesses on the Park.

“It will enhance the profile of Aycliffe Business Park, increase engagement opportunities, and provide businesses with access to further support where needed.”

As well as trying to get information on unknown businesses, On The Map is also designed to get more detailed information on existing known residents.

ABPC and its board members will soon begin contacting their contacts with a survey to get more information so the new database and access information can be shared on ABPC’s new website.

Business Durham was influential in the set-up of the Aycliffe Business Park Community and continues to play a crucial role, with its business development director, Sarah Slaven, sitting on the new board.

And John Parnell, Business Durham’s business development area manager (South) who sat on the original ABPC board which was launched nearly four years ago, also continues to work closely with the group.

“It’s widely felt that there is a need for more information on the park – who exactly is here and what services they offer,” said Parnell.

“I’m sure there will be examples of Aycliffe companies using suppliers from all over the country when, in fact, there will be companies on their doorstep who can offer the same product or service, and it’s important that we all know who’s here and what everyone can do.”

Aycliffe Business Park is the largest single employment area in County Durham and thought to be the biggest in the North-East, with several hundred companies employing an estimated 8-10,000 people.

Businesses can contact ABPC to request a data form by emailing hello@aycliffeawards.co.uk