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1200-job boost as £50 million NETPark expansion plans approved

More than 1200 jobs will be created after a £50 million business hub expansion was approved, local authority bosses have said.

Durham County Council’s cabinet has backed plans to extend Sedgefield-based NETPark.

Officials say the first phase of the expansion will provide up to 270,000 sq ft of laboratory, office, production and storage space.

They add the development has the potential to support a further 2200 supply chain posts, revealing they hope the work will enable more existing – and new – high-growth science, engineering and technology companies to move to the park and design and build their own premises.

The extension will follow previous work to grow the flagship science and technology hub, which opened in 2004 and is now home to more than 40 companies employing about 600 people.

Councillor James Rowlandson, cabinet member for resources, investment and assets at Durham County Council, said: “It’s exciting to see NETPark’s phase three expansion going ahead.

“This investment reaffirms the council’s original vision for NETPark and our commitment to the ongoing creation of a world-class centre for businesses developing the next generation of advanced technologies.

“The plans to expand NETPark demonstrate the importance of it to the region’s economy – not only is it the go-to place for people and companies with great ideas and ambition, but it plays a key role in creating more and better jobs for our workforce.

“The expansion will create jobs in thriving industries, which will help deliver a strong and competitive economy.”

NETPark is managed by Business Durham, the business support service of Durham County Council, which will oversee the new development.