A DEVELOPER is hoping to secure a multi-million-pound deal to deliver 50,000 sq ft in business space.

Durham County Council has agreed to a 30-year head-lease on Merchant Anglo’s Station Place phase of the Merchant Park industrial scheme, in Newton Aycliffe.

The agreement will enable the developer to secure £5m investment and will be submitted to the council’s planning committee for consideration, with the lease contract subject to planning permission being granted.

The 2.5 acre site, which adjoins the RICS award-winning Hitachi Rail Europe plant, itself a Merchant Anglo development, has the potential to deliver 50,000 sq ft in terraced buildings from 3,500 sq ft to 5,000 sq ft in the first instance.

Geoff Hunton, director, of Merchant Anglo, said he is delighted to be working with Durham County Council on Station Place.

He said: “The £5m investment allows us to bring forward much-needed industrial space to support new and expanding businesses in Newton Aycliffe.

“Work will start on the first phase early in 2020 for availability by the autumn. Sanderson Weatherall, Newcastle, and CBRE Leeds have been appointed as joint letting agents. The remainder of the Merchant Park, which has the potential to deliver up to a further 667,000 sq ft in building from 25,000 sq ft to 330,000 sq ft buildings will be the subject of future development opportunities.

Councillor Carl Marshall, cabinet member for economic regeneration at Durham County Council, said: “The decision by Cabinet will allow the developer to push forward with plans to create new industrial units at Station Place in Newton Aycliffe. The town is already a leading centre for manufacturing and, subject to planning permission, this development will provide even more industrial space, creating new jobs and investment opportunities in the heart of County Durham.

“Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for businesses to create jobs in County Durham, and Station Place is a great example of putting this into reality. We as a council realise the potential of working in partnership with the private sector in ensuring that projects continue to come to fruition."

The units will be managed by Business Durham, the economic development arm of Durham County Council.

Brian Archer, managing director, of Business Durham said: “County Durham has a strong manufacturing sector and demand for modern industrial facilities has outstripped supply over recent years. This proposed development at Merchant Park would provide suitable premises for new and growing businesses in the county."