By Martin Walker
A key business leader in Newton Aycliffe says there’s no reason Aycliffe Business Park can’t be the biggest and best in the region.
Kerina Clark, general manager of the Xcel Centre in Newton Aycliffe, says the attention is now firmly on Aycliffe Business Park (ABP).
Construction of Hitachi Rail Europe’s £82m train-building facility is due to start next month, which will include a research and development centre, while Hitachi has joined forces with local engineering heavyweight Gestamp Tallent and the University of Sunderland to launch a new University Technical College (UTC) for the park.
Meanwhile, property management experts are also predicting big things for the park, with a huge increase in demand for commercial and industrial space in Aycliffe.
The next meeting of the ABP group is a business planning workshop, which is being held at Ebac from 8.30am on Friday (October 4).
In a Video Interview, Clark, who chairs the ABP steering group, said: “The attention is firmly on Aycliffe Business Park.
“It’s well known now that Aycliffe has the second-biggest business park in the region. I have a bit of a private ambition that we could become the biggest. And why not? Let’s set our sights.
“It’s not always about size and volume, it’s about the influence you can have and what you can attract.
“We’ve got global businesses here at Aycliffe, and add to that a UTC (University Technical College) it’s really establishing Aycliffe as the place to be and strengthening all that’s offered here.
“As a business, why wouldn’t you want to be here?”
The last ABP meeting was held at the Aston Hotel at Newton Park, just off the A1 at Aycliffe.
General manager Tracey Campbell said there’s a lot of interest in the group which is gathering momentum.
“Now everyone is asking, ‘what is it all about?” said Campbell.
“The networking is easy and people want to be there, which makes a big, big difference.
“I would say to businesses, come along, meet other people and companies and they will be changed about networking.
“I was sceptical about networking but since attending the Aycliffe meetings it has made such a big difference.”
Firms must be based on Aycliffe Business Park to attend events. Details of the next one are here.