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2 minute read

£7.4m NETPark Explorer buildings opened

Business leaders and local dignitaries gathered at the opening of the new £7.4m Explorer facilities at the North East Technology Park (NETPark), in Sedgefield, County Durham, which are designed to house innovative, fast growing companies operating in high-tech, global markets.

Business Durham, the economic development organisation for County Durham, received £3.2m investment from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund towards the cost of the Explorer development, which already houses two new tenants, x-ray imaging specialist IBEX and electronics firm PragmatIC.

The Explorer facilities at NETPark are designed to house innovative, fast growing companies operating in high-tech, global markets / Picture: Business Durham


Brian Archer, managing director of Business Durham, which manages NETPark on behalf of Durham County Council, said: “NETPark offers a dynamic environment for high-tech companies wanting to make a big impact in global markets. The exceptional facilities at the Explorer development only strengthens its offering to companies wanting to grow and locate here going forward.”

NETPark is the only science park in the UK with two Catapult centres – High Value Manufacturing, the catalyst for the future growth and success of manufacturing, and Satellite Applications, which supports companies by opening up opportunities using satellite data and technology.

The Explorer building was officially opened by Stuart Martin, chief executive officer of the Satellite Applications Catapult.

“Space is a growing sector in the North East and the Explorer development provides even more opportunities for companies to access the facilities and support they need to excel in this market,” he said.

“The Centre of Excellence at NETPark, has engaged with more than 350 businesses in the region, exploring the potential for space technology and data to grow their companies.  Since the Centre launched, ten new space-based businesses have been created, providing over 80 new jobs.”

Councillor Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council, said: “NETPark is already home to some of the world’s most innovative businesses and the Explorer development will open up even greater opportunities for companies to grow and flourish here.

“This expansion demonstrates our commitment to creating a bright future for people who live, work and study in County Durham and we are confident these new facilities will attract further investment to our region.”

Helen Golightly, executive director at the North East LEP, said: “This is an exciting time for the North East as we work to grow our economy and we’re delighted that we’ve been able to support Business Durham to bring forward the new Explorer facilities on NETPark.

“NETPark has been a major focus of our innovation investment programme and is a premier location for product research and development, enabling the creation of more and better jobs.”

The Explorer development forms part of the 10-year strategy for NETPark, which includes creating 3,000 jobs and adding another £400m to the region’s GVA.