An ambitious North East entrepreneur is building himself a career from his new business base in Darlington.

Simon Hawkins, 46, swapped his role helping others get their property developments off the ground, to being in the driving seat of his own start-up.

And now, just weeks after launching Wildon Estates, the businessman has invested in the company’s first offices at Lingfield Point.

Simon, who is a qualified charted surveyor with more than 20 years’ industry experience, has taken on an office in YARN – a uniquely-designed space in Lingfield House that’s already home to a number of thriving start-ups and SMEs.

Simon said: “I’ve been working in the property industry since leaving university. I’d been working for my previous employer for more than 10 years, so I guess it just felt like the right time to take a leap of faith.

“Darlington is a great business base and I came across Lingfield Point when looking for serviced offices in the area.

“It really stood out because of its accessible location and high spec office space. It has everything a start-up could need – including breakout and meeting areas, an on-site café bistro and a concierge service.

“Having worked in commercial property for so long, I guess I know a good space when I see one!”

Over the past two decades, Simon has been responsible for the development of many major projects across the region, most recently working on the Feethams Leisure development in Darlington.

He added: “The property industry can be tough but there’s so many opportunities in the North East and beyond. Take mixed-use sites like Feethams for example, they offer huge retail investment opportunities.

“We’re currently looking for sites and will work on all elements of a project, from site acquisition through to development planning and build.”

Eddie Humphries, estate manager at Lingfield Point said: “It’s always great to welcome a new customer to our growing business community and we’re delighted Simon has found the ideal space for his new start-up.

“Starting a business can be both an exciting and daunting journey but being surrounded by successful businesses who’ve been through it is always a good feeling.

“We can’t wait to watch Wildon Estates grow from its base here at Lingfield Point.”