FIVE North-East development schemes set up 13 years ago to regenerate former mining communities have been fully acquired by developers Langtree Group.

The firm has announced today it has acquired the Homes & Communities Agency’s (HCA) 49 per cent share in its long-standing Network Space joint venture, which includes Glover Network Centre in Washington, Wearside; and the Murton Network Village in Easington, County Durham as well as two sites in Northumberland and another in Jarrow, Tyneside.

The business was established by the Government’s Coalfields Task Force in 1999 and now has more than three quarters of a million square feet of high quality industrial and commercial space under management.

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Langtree Group chief executive John Downes: “It’s been a big success. Our original intention was to develop half a million square feet of space but the concept and the product have proven so popular that we’ve exceeded that by some margin.

“It was always the stated intention that we’d take full control once our development objectives had been met. The product will not change as it’s popular and provides the right type of quality accommodation and lease arrangements for SMEs in the current market.”

Network Space owns 22 SME workspace estates and two business centres across the former coalfields of the North-East, north west, Yorkshire and the midlands. Almost 2,000 staff work in more than 300 businesses across the portfolio.