PROPERTY development company Terrace Hill approaches the end of the year with a great deal to celebrate.

Its recent appointment by Gateshead Borough Council as preferred developer for Gateshead's Baltic Business Park, will keep the Teesside firm busy for the next ten years.

Terrace Hill's £250m scheme is set to play a key role in the Newcastle Gateshead bid for European City of Culture in 2008.

Buildings are to be arranged in an urban landscaped setting around a series of squares, bisected by boulevards and walkways.

It is believed the 53-acre site will create about 5,000 jobs, as well as 1,500,000sq ft of office and research and development space.

About a third of the business park will be taken up by Knowledge Campus, a 500,000sq ft rapid product development centre, designed to bring together companies at the cutting edge of the new product development industry.

Reflecting on his team's achievements throughout 2001, Philip Leech, Terrace Hill's director, said: "As the first office quarter for Gateshead and the largest new urban development in the region, our scheme demonstrates vision and confidence.

"We are about to develop a unique urban business park that can compete with the best in Europe.

"Gateshead is sending out a clear message that it can deliver and can provide the ideal setting for business, the arts and the community to thrive, side by side."

Councillor Mick Henry, deputy leader of Gateshead council, added: "The Terrace Hill team came up with a good design which will deliver what we want - which is a vibrant, new downtown commercial quarter in Gateshead and a world class development that will put us at the forefront of urban regeneration."

An announcement is expected soon on the appointment of the professional team for the scheme.

Meanwhile, Teesdale Business Park, where Terrace Hill is lead developer, has also seen plenty of action this year with demand for space almost outstripping supply.

Considered by some as the jewel in Teesside's regeneration crown - and its largest business park at 250 acres - Teesdale is home to a number of blue chip occupiers.

In the past year, Terrace Hill has undertaken four new developments at Teesdale.

Two of the three office developments, Endeavour House and Discovery, are already occupied. The third new office building to begin, the 12,500sq ft Advance, had its top floor snapped up by the National Care Standards Commission within four weeks of construction starting in September.

The fourth development reflects a departure from its normal portfolio of schemes - the £16m Stockton and Billingham College, which is due for completion next October and is already well advanced.