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Demand drives NETPark expansion

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February 16, 2009

DEMAND from cutting edge, science-based companies is driving a high tech business park to more than double its incubation space.

The North East Technology Park (NETPark), at Sedgefield, County Durham, will today receive the keys to an extension to its incubation space for high growth technology businesses, providing an additional 150% space for exciting new ventures to thrive providing a total of 40,000 sq ft of incubation space.

Demand for space in the NETPark Incubator, which offers a total support package for these high growth companies, has been so great that it has had to build the extension ahead of schedule.

The Incubator is already home to some of the world’s most exciting technology companies including Kromek, which has developed digital X-ray and imaging technology to combat terrorism, and ROAR Particles, which uses nanotechnology to enhance fingerprint detection.

NETPark has seen rapid growth in recent months with the arrival of the Printable Electronics Technology Centre (PETEC) and the planned work on Innovation Village.

NETPark’s managers, the County Durham Development Company (CDDC), have also recently received planning permission to start infrastructure work to open up a further eight acres of development space.

The development of NETPark is led by Durham County Council in partnership with Sedgefield Borough Council, One North East and Durham University. It has received Regional Spatial Strategy approval to grow to 25 hectares (55 acres).

Stewart Watkins, CDDC managing director, said: “The demand from businesses wanting to move onto NETPark has been incredible and reflects not only the quality and scope of its facilities and support, but also the encouraging number of science and technology companies in the region.

“These are just the kind of companies we need to encourage and nurture for a healthy economic future and NETPark does that, which makes it a major regional asset.’’

It is planned that the expansion will be available for new businesses next month.

The Incubator currently houses seven companies, operating in areas such as photonics, nanotechnology and micro-electronics, which together employ more than 70 people. The expansion creates the potential for almost 200 jobs.

The Incubator offers high quality laboratory facilities, such as fume cupboards and chemical drains, along with conference and meeting rooms and total business support, from providing stationery to advice on protecting intellectual property.

-ENDS-

Media Contact: Mike Parker, Mike Parker Media, 07714 845616 or e-mail mike@mikeparkermedia.co.uk