Eight new industrial workspace units are being created on the Hownsgill Industrial Park in Consett following investment from government’s Getting Building Fund.

When complete, the new modern employment sites at Bessemer Court are expected to create up to 100 jobs as new businesses move on to the site.

Built on the grounds of the former Consett Steelworks, Bessemer Court is already home to four fully let units. The expansion of the industrial park aims to support the creation of more SME businesses in the area, help existing SMEs to grow, and increase jobs and employment opportunities for local people.

Mike Clark, Director of Project Genesis Ltd (PGL) – the development company managing the regeneration of the former steelworks site on behalf of the Genesis Trust – said: “The ongoing redevelopment of Hownsgill Industrial Park is helping to bring new investment into Consett, create new jobs in growing sectors in the North East, and create opportunities for existing businesses in the area to expand, sustaining and growing the local economy.

“There is strong demand for new high-spec industrial units in County Durham and we expect Bessemer Court to provide a boost to the local economy as more businesses arrive on site.”

£448,000 from government’s Getting Building Fund was awarded to Project Genesis Ltd to enable essential infrastructure and remediable works to be carried out before construction of the eight new industrial workspaces could begin.

The Getting Building Fund was established early in the coronavirus pandemic to kick-start the economy, create jobs and help areas realise growth opportunities coming out of the coronavirus pandemic. The North East Local Enterprise Partnership is managing £47m awarded through the Getting Building Fund to support capital investment across the North East.

Helen Golightly OBE, Chief Executive of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Despite wider economic challenges, we are seeing continued demand for smaller workspaces that provide the right environment for growth.

“The targeted investment from the Getting Building Fund Commercial Property Pilot scheme has helped with the construction of the new industrial units here at Bessemer Court and across the region following the coronavirus pandemic, meaning the North East is now well placed to meet the needs of businesses and support future job creation.”

Hownsgill Industrial Park has been identified as a strategic employment site and key to the continued economic growth of Consett and County Durham.

When complete, the new units at Bessemer Court are expected to create 100 new jobs and support around eight apprenticeships and training opportunities. Follow-on PGL and other private sector investment is expected to reach £1.9m.