FOUR new business units in Teesdale have been officially opened, helping local people expand their businesses.

The four new incubator units were opened by David Yiend, chair of the Prince’s Rural Action Programme.

Located on the Middleton-in-Teesdale Auction Mart site, the units offer short -term leases to local business owners looking to grow their company.

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All of the units already have tenants, and organisers say that more local business owners are on a waiting list.

Hayley Bell, Middleton Hub development worker, said: “We are delighted that all four business units are occupied and we are looking forward to working with others locally to try and develop more opportunities for businesses to start up and grow.”

The businesses include a local pasty company, an upholsterer, a candle maker and an acupuncturist.

All four tenants live locally, from Middleton-in-Teesdale and Newbiggin to Eggleston and St John’s Chapel.

Jon Dunn, owner of the Teesdale Pasty Company Ltd, said: “We found that we couldn’t keep up with demand, as soon as we made the pasties they were sold. Having this unit is a great opportunity for us to develop our ideas.”

The initiative has been made possible by the Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services (UTASS) who worked with Durham Dales Enterprise Community Interest Company and Middleton-in-Teesdale Auction Mart, who secured Rural Growth Network funding to build the units.