‘MY future is Durham’ gave primary schoolchildren from Spennymoor the opportunity not only to tell how their workplace might operate in the future and their hopes for their careers, but the chance to go into three Durham businesses leading the way in science, finance and technology.  Their experiences were put together in videos to inspire the next generation to consider the sorts of jobs they might do in County Durham. 

Independent research shows that half of all businesses looking to locate in the North-East would consider Durham, but, as things stand, there are insufficient premises for business growth. That’s about to change with the Aykley Heads development as the latest phase of an economic vision that began to take shape 18 years ago when NETPark was opened, near Sedgefield, as a ground-breaking hub for science technology and now the leading science park in the North-East.

Aykley Heads is thought to be one of the country’s most attractive business locations, with the potential to create 6,000 jobs in the heart of Durham City. Analysts confidently expect it to inject £400m into County Durham’s economy over 20 years – so no wonder business leaders and politicians are describing the forthcoming development of Aykley Heads as a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity that is too good to miss’. 

Businesses like Atom Bank, featured in the videos, are already enjoying the benefits of the northern part of the site.  They located here when they launched in 2016, and have since expanded and grown into the Rivergreen Centre at Aykley Heads.  Their original building will be the new home of IT and business consultants Watersons, who have also grown and will move into the refurbished office building in January 2019.

Commenting on Waterstons’ relocation, Susan Bell, CEO, says she is excited about the development, not just from her own company’s perspective, but for the county as a whole.

“To have the potential to expand again when we need to is important, and to be in a beautiful, prestigious area, within walking distance of the railway station and city centre, gives us so many more options around travelling and social time. In a wider context, to be creating such a vibrant, high-tech business quarter is such great news for the city and the county.”