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Business & Economy

£140 million County Durham business park takes step forward

A new £140 million commercial and manufacturing business park in County Durham has been granted outline planning permission by local authorities.

The plans have been forecast to create up to 3,200 jobs in the area, as well as boosting the county’s economy by almost £500 million over the next 20 years.

Forrest Park Limited, the company behind the project, secured outline planning permission from the county’s planning committee after planning officers recommended the scheme should be approved.

Councillor Simon Henig said: “I am delighted plans for Forrest Park have been approved.

“This is an opportunity for us to attract new businesses to County Durham, creating thousands of high-quality jobs and boosting the local economy.

“This is not just about investing in today; it is about creating an environment where businesses can flourish, and future generations of residents can access exciting opportunities and enjoy rewarding careers near to where they live.”

The project — a collaboration between the Forrest family, Durham Council, and Richardson Barberry — will see the development of a 55-hectacre site southeast of Newton Aycliffe, creating 1.75 million square feet of units, a 60-bed hotel, dining options, and retail spaces.

It will extend the existing Aycliffe Business Park, situated next to the A1, making it the largest site of its type in the North East.

Jonathan Robinson, developments director at Richardson Barberry, said: “Richardson Barberry, working alongside Durham County Council, the Forrest family and the Local Enterprise Partnership, has a vision to create a business park that provides a wide range of high-quality accommodation, which will attract local, regional, national and international occupiers, stimulating economic growth and new jobs for the region.”

In 2018, access roads, signalisation, drainage, and power upgrades were made in anticipation of the park’s development, so the granting of planning permission represents the latest step in making the project a reality.