AN industrial estate is to be given a revamp in a bid to attract investment and jobs.

Sedgefield Borough Council's regeneration and economic development teams want to improve Aycliffe Industrial Park, secure its 8,000 jobs and boost future business opportunities.

A £200,000 investment, which the council believes will act as a catalyst for more than a million pounds of further finance, is expected to be rubber-stamped at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

The cash will be spent enhancing the 400-hectare park's image, clearing the site of disused factories and tidying old units.

Paul Belmont, senior economic development officer, said the scheme will be three-pronged.

The first improvements to be made will include street lights, landscaping and entrances to create a better environment.

A grant scheme will be launched to offer existing firms money to make improvements to their units and surrounding land.

The council also hopes to demolish derelict buildings.

Mr Belmont said: "New jobs have to be the ultimate aim, we need to create interest in the park and attract new or sustain existing occupants.

"We hope our initial £200,000 investment will attract additional money.

"We are looking to secure single programme funds and generate investment from the private sector.

"This work will hopefully encourage companies to develop the 146 acres of brownfield land yet to be developed."

The council's lead member for regeneration, Kester Noble, hopes the work will attract new companies with growth potential.

He said: "We've all seen manufacturing decline, so we have to look to attract new and different businesses to the area, especially small and medium companies with the potential to grow and create more jobs.

"This work will hopefully attract them and give the existing businesses stability. No one, businesses or developers, will come to a shabby industrial estate. This is an important move and I'm confident it can strengthen the area's economy."

A multi-million pound scheme to provide quality office space is also being developed on the site.