The latest addition to Darlington’s business offer is almost complete.

The £8.3m office building at Central Park is aimed at small and medium sized businesses.

Innovation Central is designated as a small scale incubator site to nurture innovative start-ups, and potentially high growth businesses – a goal identified in the 2015 Innovation Strategy which sets out a vision for the Tees Valley.

It will offer Grade A office workspaces and space that can be used as a laboratory or “clean space”, with the aim of building on the success of the wider Central Park site as a growing life sciences sector hub.

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Senior members of Darlington Borough Council visited the building to have a look around as it nears completion.

The Northern Echo: Senior councillors were given a tour of Innovation Centre Picture: Darlington Borough Council Senior councillors were given a tour of Innovation Centre Picture: Darlington Borough Council

Council leader Jonathan Dulston said: “Innovation Central is a great addition to Central Park and is another step forward in our long-term strategy to make Darlington stand out to both new and established businesses looking for a place to grow.

“The facility is first class and I look forward to welcoming its first tenants.”

The building will be operated by North East Business & Innovation Centre (NE-BIC) who already operate the existing Business Central office space on Central Park.

Building work on Innovation Central is expected to be complete later this summer and NE-BIC will occupy the building from October 2022.

Alongside this, the whole of Central Park is undergoing a major facelift aimed at creating an attractive, high-quality business park, ripe for potential new investors and businesses.

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This project is jointly funded by Darlington Borough Council, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), £3.55million from the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority, and the Government’s Getting Building Fund.

Darlington’s cabinet member for economy, Cllr Alan Marshall, who also joined the tour, said: “Central Park is going from strength to strength and is becoming a real hive of activity and cementing Darlington’s position as a key player in the life sciences sector.

“Innovation Central is also in a prime spot for any start-ups looking to make the most of Treasury North coming to Darlington. It’s a great time for any small business in the town that’s looking to grow.”

The Northern Echo:

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Central Park is already one of the jewels in the crown of our life sciences sector and Innovation Central will provide top-quality space for even more innovative SMEs.

“We invested £3.5million to make this project a reality, to give smaller businesses the best start possible as they grow and create the good-quality, well-paid jobs of the future.”

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