Steel fabricated in Newton Aycliffe has helped to complete an £8.5m office complex in the heart of Darlington town centre.
Finley Structures fabricated and erected 330 tonnes of steel for the five-storey, state-of-the-art development, which was funded by Darlington Council, the Tees Valley mayor and combined authority and the European Regional Development Fund.
Construction of the building continued throughout the coronavirus lockdown after contractor Wilmott Dixon put stringent safety measures in place around the site.
The first tenant for the site will be subsea innovators DeepOcean, who have signed an agreement to take 7,000sq ft of space across the whole of the top floor of the building.
It is hoped the company will be able to move into its new home this summer, depending on lockdown restrictions.
Talks are continuing with other potential tenants for the 30,000sq ft office, which offers accommodation for small and medium businesses in the professional services, digital and creative fields.
Finley Structures managing director Julie Raistrick said: “As a local employer it’s always nice to work on local projects which will contribute significantly to the regeneration of the Feethams area in Darlington.
“This was a project which saw us once again working close to home with main contractor Willmott Dixon, following the successful completion of the Student Life building at Teesside University.”
Councillor Heather Scott, leader of Darlington Council, said: “Feethams House is a marvellous example of the ambition we have in Darlington to keep moving our economy forward.
“It is a new opportunity for businesses in the town who are looking to grow or to welcome new businesses who are drawn here by what we have to offer.
“Feethams House is in an excellent position, close to the town centre and our excellent rail and road links and offers office accommodation of the highest standard.
“Thank you to all the building contractors who have worked so hard to get it finished in the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves, it is a tremendous effort on their part.”
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said: “The completion of Feethams House is another big step forward in our plans for Darlington.
“It will provide the Grade A-office space we need to allow local businesses to grow and to attract major firms to the region, creating jobs for local people in the process. This is why we agreed to invest £3.2m into the project.
“There has already been a huge amount of interest, with DeepOcean, a business which will play a crucial role in the offshore sector in our region, already signed up, and I am delighted to hear that talks are on-going with a number of other potential occupiers.
“I want to pay particular thanks to the construction workers who have carried on working with stringent safety measures in place during this unusual time to get the project finished. It is another example of the potential we have as a region and shows why businesses should invest right here in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.”
Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the North, said: “We’re proud to have helped deliver such as important project that will support local SME business to thrive, creating vital employment opportunities, and help cement Darlington’s position as a key business destination within the Tees Valley.
“To complete the project in the current circumstances is testament to the strength of the relationships and collaboration between our team, the council and all our local supply chain partners.
“Over the last two months, the entire site team has been at the forefront of adapting to and innovating new ways of working and embracing technology to keep everyone safe and the project moving forward to completion.”