Aycliffe’s MP Paul Howell, whose constituency office is on Aycliffe Business Park, provides the guest foreword for the 52nd issue of Aycliffe Business…
I’m delighted to provide the guest foreword for a fantastic publication which is really helping to put Aycliffe Business Park on the map.
I am delighted I have been able to base my constituency office here on the business park – I love being here, and being part of the business community.
I am next door to Gestamp and it was a pleasure to visit them recently. I was hugely impressed by their facilities and the investments they’re making in state-of-the-art technology. There’s more about that later in this issue.
I have been frustrated by Covid in the number of businesses I have been able to visit, but as lockdown releases I hope to get to many more of the fantastic companies, large and small, we have on the park. If you would like me to visit your business just drop us a line.
I write this foreword just as news broke about County Durham’s City of Culture bid for 2025 – which, for me, is fantastic news.
There’s so much in this county that’s fabulous.
We sit between the conurbations of the Tees Valley and Tyne & Wear, but – as we emerge from the pandemic – we need to shout even more about County Durham.
I applaud the new leadership at Durham County Council for picking this bid up and moving it forward and while Aycliffe wasn’t specifically mentioned in the City of Culture bid, it will play an integral part.
The bicentennial celebrations of the Darlington to Stockton railway – which, of course, started in Shildon and passed through Aycliffe – is a major part of the culture bid.
Winning the bid will also bring more people into the county for tourism, which means more money spent in our local shops and pubs, so it would be fantastic for the local economy.
Even bidding helps us get some messages out about how fantastic our area is – it will help us enhance the perception of our county to the outside world.
Some investors in the south don’t know about the opportunities that exist here, the fantastic quality of life opportunities and some of the amazing, futuristic work that’s going on here in Aycliffe and at NETPark in Sedgefield.
The City of Culture bid would put us on their radar, and they might take a closer look at the investment potential in County Durham.
But I’m preaching to the converted here – we all know how fantastic our county is! I’d urge everyone to get behind the bid and support Durham County Council in any way you can.
It’s always imperative that we all broadcast all our successes and good news. I try my best to shout up for our area at every opportunity – Aycliffe Business certainly plays its part and I look forward to it landing on my door mat. I’m sure you do, too.
Paul Howell MP