Alongside the loan and equity finance packages of up to £1m available to growing businesses in Tees Valley, UKSE provides workspace and support to around 100 growing businesses at its two Innovation Centres in Hartlepool and Redcar.

Since 2000, the development of the Innovation Centres, followed by major extensions at both sites, has seen UKSE invest more than £12m into four major building projects and an additional £500k refurbishment at Redcar has just been completed.

The prestigious business centres are an important strand of UKSE’s support to help local businesses create jobs.

Companies involved in every sector from fleet management, data software, finance, engineering, saddlery, freight, signage, health and training to design, architecture, printing, confectionary, construction, energy, recruitment and sport call the Centres ‘home’.

“They have been designed to give smaller businesses the cost-effective facilities and support they need so they can concentrate on their core business,” said UKSE Area Manager Sarah Thorpe, “without worries about the building or long leases or deliveries.”

With a UKSE team on hand and manned reception area for visitors, the Centres also boast free parking, security, 24-hour access, high speed communications, meeting rooms, landscaped grounds and even a gym and chill-out room.

At Redcar, Normanby Laboratory Services recently took on additional space after doubling its team and investing in 3D printing. Speedy Freight’s arrival meant franchisee Alistair McDonald, who also benefitted from a UKSE Regeneration Fund loan in 2015, had space to take on his first employees.

Orangebox Training, based at the Innovation Centre, Hartlepool, also secured an investment package from UKSE, enabling it to acquire another business and aim to triple turnover. The company provides more than 75 training courses in sectors from law and retail to safety here and in the Middle East, Fiji, New Zealand and America.

“It is a great place to grow your business,’’ said CEO Simon Corbett. “And the investment helped us expand. We have now helped to train more than 9000 people and are looking to a fourth year turnover of £1m.”

Sealpump Engineering was one of the first tenants to take space in the Redcar Centre in 2000.

Today it occupies eight times that office and workshop space and is heading for a £2m turnover as one of the UK’s leading designers of industrial spray systems. A recent expansion gave it space to house new testing facilities and boost its apprenticeship plans.

Consulting engineers JNP Group chose the Hartlepool Innovation Centre for its new Teesside office in 2005. Today, Director Colin Cook heads a 13-strong team occupying the largest space in Hub Two, the extension where JNP acted as civil and structural engineers when it was built in 2011. Other clients include major house-builders and NHS Trusts.

“We are proud of our Innovation Centres and of the strong business communities the tenants have built,’’ admitted UKSE area manager Sarah Thorpe. “They not only support each other but also find time to fundraise for local charities including the Hartlepool Food Bank, the Salvation Army, Alice House Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support.”

For details of UKSE’s support for businesses with finance and premises call 01642 777 888 or visit