Formalisation of Aycliffe Business Park Community could open funding opportunities

As it prepares to celebrate its second birthday at the Ebac site, Aycliffe Business Park Community is seeking to become a formal body

From left, Pamela Petty, John Finley, Kerina Clark, Dave Spensley and Rachel Townsend Green
From left, Pamela Petty, John Finley, Kerina Clark, Dave Spensley and Rachel Townsend Green

As it prepares to celebrate its second birthday, a steering group set up to organise events at a North East business park is seeking to become a formal body, opening up new opportunities for funding.

Established in January 2013, the Aycliffe Business Park Community (ABPC) has hosted regular news and networking meetings, as well as business practise seminars. The group also organised the successful Make Your Mark awards event, at which Tekmar Energy was crowned Company of the Year.

The organisation currently relies on volunteers and help from Business Durham.

However, talks are now under way to create a more formal and sustainable entity with a higher chance of attracting funds for projects.

It is hoped that staff could then be taken on or that local firms could be paid to carry out work that could build on what has been achieved so far.

Chair of the group, Xcel Centre managing director Kerina Clark, said: “It’s been an interesting couple of years. We feel like we have a really good foundation now, but we feel we need to build on that.

“So we’re in talks and taking advice about formalising the steering group and formalising the community group on the business park.

“We feel we need to be some kind of formal entity. What it means for the future is we can look at joint procurement, insurances, joint purchasing and also access funding to do projects on the park.

“At the moment we can’t do that as an informal group, but we really feel to be able to go to the next level and be sustainable for the future we think that’s what the park needs and, from what we’ve heard, it’s what businesses want as well.”

The Steering Group – which also includes Pamela Petty, John Finley, Rachel Townsend Green and Dave Spensley, supported by John Parnell from Business Durham – will celebrate its second birthday at Ebac’s Norfrost site on Heighington Lane, on Thursday, January 29, beginning at 8.15am

The free event, open to all companies on the park, will consist of breakfast and networking, news and updates, a short video presentation and a birthday quiz.

Ms Clark added: “It promises to be another well-attended event with lots of new faces and some fun long the way.

“We’ve organised a special Aycliffe Business Park quiz, which will include a fun picture round featuring well-known personalities on the business park, while there will also be a short video presentation to round up what’s been another really positive year for Aycliffe Business Park.

“It would be lovely to see a big turn-out for it so we can not only celebrate what’s been achieved, but also keep everyone up-to-date on some of our exciting future plans.”

Businesses can register to attend at www.aycliffebusinesspark.co.uk

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