ESSENTIAL new business space was officially opening this week, creating jobs and stimulating business growth in Washington following joined up investment of European and local regeneration funding.
Hellens Investments (Washington) LLP received over £500,000 investment from the European Regional Development Fund Competitiveness Programme 2007- 2013, which is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government with match funding being provided by the company and loans from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Investment Fund, which includes the Growing Places Fund.
Teal Farm Park Phase II development at Washington comprises four units built to BREEAM very good standard ranging from 4 – 7,000 square feet designed for manufacturing or distribution enterprises and for start up and move on businesses. The scheme supported more than 100 construction jobs and is expected to lead to 124 jobs when the units are occupied.
To mark the official opening Cllr Neil Foster, Deputy Chair of the North East ERDF Local Management Committee, Cllr Paul Watson, North East LEP board member and Leader of Sunderland City Council and Gavin Cordwell-Smith, Chief Executive of Hellens Group will be present for the official handover of the units.
Cllr Neil Foster, Deputy Chair of the North East ERDF Local Management Committee, which engages key partners in the overseeing of the strategic delivery of the Programme in the North East said:
“Following the approval of ERDF investment, this development in Washington will stimulate business growth through the construction of a number of high quality work units, creating jobs, ensuring inward investment and addressing a shortage of such workspaces. These are essential criteria to support local growth and rebalance the economy and it is a pleasure to be here today to officially mark the opening of the development.”
Councillor Paul Watson, North East LEP board member and Leader of Sunderland City Council said:
“It’s great news to celebrate the official launch of Teal Farm Park with completion of both phases. The business park is a strong example of the sort of development the LEP’s North East Investment Fund, which includes Growing Places funding, was set up to support. We have watched it move towards completion following our funding, which is great news for businesses and the region. The first phase has already had a positive impact on the local economy, and the completed development has the size, location and quality to thrive in the future.”
The development is supporting SME creation and existing SMEs looking to stay in the area who might otherwise struggle to find quality business space as well as supporting inward migration of new entrepreneurs to the North East. The project is creating space which exceed environmental standards, allowing SMEs to enjoy energy efficiency savings and meet customer requirements for supply chain carbon reduction.
Gavin Cordwell-Smith, Chief Executive of the Hellens Group, the Washington based property developer and land regeneration specialist said:
“We are delighted to see these units officially opened. We are very grateful to the Department for Communities and Local Government for providing grants from the European Regional Development Fund. This funding, along with loans from the North East Local Enterprise Partnerships Investment Fund, has allowed the development to proceed. It will bring both significant economic and employment benefits to the North East.”
The £55m North East Investment Fund is a loan fund for businesses that are looking for financial investment to help them grow through capital and infrastructure projects. The fund, which includes Growing Place Fund and Regional Growth Fund monies, supports projects that will create jobs and encourage economic growth in the North East.