Communities Minister Baroness Hanham has announced £5.4 million of European investment to build state-of-the-art business facilities which will further development on Enterprise Zones.
Lady Hanham confirmed that the European Regional Development Fund Competitiveness Programme 2007- 2013 is investing £3.29 million in the HCA owned Darlington Business Growth Hub where work will start later this year.
The Baroness also announced that the European Regional Development Fund is investing £2.1 million in Boho 5, part of the DigitalCity initiative, that is expected to create at least 250 new jobs in 10 years.
The scheme is set to provide 2,322 sq m of high quality business accommodation targeted specifically at small and medium enterprises operating in digital and creative sectors.
Baroness Hanham said: “I am delighted to formally announce European Regional Development Fund investment for the Darlington Business Growth Hub and Boho 5, which will see the development of high quality premises enabling new and growing businesses to create jobs and wealth in Tees Valley.”
Darlington Business Growth Hub will comprise additional 3,200 m² of high quality Grade A office space for small and medium enterprises and is due to open January 2015.
The project will see the creation of at least 25 new businesses and 350 new jobs within the first 15 years of operation. The project is being managed by Darlington Borough Council with the Homes and Communities Agency providing the match funding.
David Curtis, Executive Director at the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) said:
“The confirmation that these schemes will receive European Funding means that the HCA will invest an additional £5million in creating jobs in the Tess Valley.”
“We will invest £3million in the Darlington Growth Hub to help create a purpose built facility that will help new businesses grow and supports local jobs. Our £2 million investment in Boho 5 is a key part of our wider long term investment in Middlehaven to help create educational and employment opportunities for Middlesbrough”
The European Regional Development Fund Competitiveness Programme 2007-13 is bringing over £300 million into North East England to support innovation, enterprise and business support. It will help create and safeguard 28,000 new jobs, start 3,000 new businesses and increase the productivity by £1.1bn per annum.
The 140,000 sq ft leisure scheme in Feethams, Darlington, will be anchored by a nine screen multiplex cinema and include an 80-bedroom hotel, as well as a number of restaurants, bars and shops.
Terrace Hill has secured an agreement with VUE Entertainment to operate the cinema, and is in advanced discussions with Whitbread who want to operate the 80-bedroom Premier Inn hotel.
The property group has already received strong interest from a number of national restaurant and leisure chains. At present, the operators are not represented in the town, with the multi-million scheme providing an opportunity to bring their brand to Darlington and help the local economy.
Philip Leech, Chief Executive of Terrace Hill, said: “Having made the strategic decision to increase Terrace Hill’s focus on development, thereby better utilising our core expertise, we are very pleased to have been appointed by Darlington Borough Council to develop this important new scheme.
Councillor Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Borough Council said: “This is excellent news for the Borough. There has been a lot of detailed negotiation around this development and I believe that the Council has chosen the best scheme for the site.
“The news is clear evidence that Darlington can attract a first class development of this kind and that there is confidence in the business world in what the Borough has to offer. Once complete it will be a welcome addition to the already strong culture and leisure offer in the town centre.”
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