A board of directors set up to help promote companies on the region’s biggest business park is celebrating its first anniversary.
The Aycliffe Business Park Community (ABPC) board is marking its first year of operation by embarking on a number of new initiatives, designed to boost community engagement and communication.
Spread across 400 hectares, and with future expansion plans, Aycliffe Business Park is already home to an estimated 500 companies and 10,000 employees.
They include high-profile names such as Gestamp Tallent, Hitachi Rail, 3M, Husqvarna, Inovyn and PWS.
ABPC was officially set up a year ago to formalise the group after its predecessor had been run as an unofficial entity for more than three years.
The board is now undertaking a complete rebrand, which will be revealed at a major re-launch event with high-profile keynote speakers later this summer.
That will include a brand new website, which will enable businesses on the park to submit their company information and services they provide, as well as sharing news.
The group’s chair, Xcel Centre managing director Kerina Clark, said: “It has been a really encouraging first year for the board and we’re very happy with its direction.
“We’re seeing more and more new faces at our regular news and networking meetings, which is pleasing. Attendees are getting to know their neighbours and many are doing business with one another as a result, which is fantastic.
“Of course, we want to see more engagement and we’re looking at ways of increasing that, and we’re hopeful the company’s re-brand and new website will help.”
The ABPC board is made up of Kerina along with Sarah Slaven (Business Durham), Steve Robson (South Durham Enterprise Agency), Rachel Townsend Green (Thrive Marketing), James Goodliffe (Formula Plastics), Pamela Petty (South West Durham Training), Lee Harris (Mitchell Gordon), Emma Little (Gregg Little Testing Centre), Chris Hyde (JDP Contracting) and Martin Walker (Mantis Media).
Kerina added: “The main aim of the Aycliffe Business Park Community board is to encourage and increase a sense of community between businesses on the park and facilitate support to help companies grow.
“We want to increase engagement with all businesses across the park and try to ensure that all companies are aware of the services that exist on their doorstep, and how to access them.
“We aim to do this by encouraging engagement through regular networking events and other ABPC-organised events on the park, as well as encouraging more interaction with businesses online and through social media.”
ABPC’s next meeting is a seminar on apprenticeships and the apprenticeship levy, at South West Durham Training, on Friday (June 16) from 8.15am.
The next news and networking for Aycliffe Business Park residents only is at ROF 59 activity centre on Friday July 21, from 8.15am.
The next event open to all is due to be held at Planet Leisure on Friday September 22, from 8.15am.
Businesses can register for events at www.aycliffebusinesspark.co.uk
• Pictured (above): The Aycliffe Business Park Community board (left to right) Lee Harris (Mitchell Gordon), James Goodliffe (Formula Plastics), Pamela Petty (South West Durham Training), Sarah Slaven (Business Durham), Kerina Clark (Xcel Centre), Emma Little (Gregg Little Testing Centre), Rachel Townsend Green (Thrive Marketing), Chris Hyde (JDP Contracting), Steve Robson (South Durham Enterprise Agency) and Martin Walker (Mantis Media).