Sunday, 26 July 2009

Vision behind Durham Green Business Park

I have often been described as a creative thinker, a lateral thinker, unconventional and intuitive. To start with, I wanted to create employment for the North East and I was looking for the ideal solution. When I saw the site I suddenly began thinking at an optimum level and could visualise with the power of my imagination how this location could be developed into a rail port and Business Park. It has the unique advantage of being served by both the London-Edinburgh rail-line to the west of the site and the London-Edinburgh road to the east of the site. That is why I decided to develop the Durham Green Business Park. Initially I was taking a big risk because I realized that the land I needed for access had a long term covenant which took me several years to have removed. In the meanwhile the county council put a new road link in, from the proposed Business Park to areas of high unemployment within the neighbouring east Durham coalfield through the former pit villages. This means that local people will have ease of access to the Business Park and also to the A1, as the site is located at J61 on the A1.

The neighbouring area has the 2nd highest rate of 18-25 unemployment in the country and we hope to decrease these figures dramatically, by bringing thousands of jobs to Durham Green. This new road will also give those who live in the Sunderland area a direct link.

The North East is rapidly becoming a cosmopolitan hub. It has a fantastic infrastructure and a brilliant nightlife in Newcastle which is amongst the best in the country. As well as having a premiership football at Sunderland, we have first class cricket just up the road at Chester-Le-Street where Durham are champions. The North East has a beautiful coastline that goes up to the Scottish border at Berwick; as well as having the country’s largest out of town shopping mall at Metro centre in nearby Gateshead which is directly linked to the Business Park. A few miles further up the road, there is Newcastle international airport. I am not only passionate about the North East but also care about creating job opportunities here.

With this project I wasn’t looking for quick returns because I’ve been involved with this for a substantial number of years now. I was looking for a successful venture which would prove a solution to the long term unemployment level in this area which Margaret Thatcher created in the 1980's by sounding the death knell for the coal mining industry. With the Durham Green Business Park, I think I have found it.

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