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The final tenants have moved into their new premises at West Chirton North Industrial Estate in North Tyneside, meaning that the site, which was supported with a £460,000 loan from the North East Investment Fund, is now fully occupied.

The completion of Larch Court, West Chirton has resulted in the creation and safeguarding of jobs while the site itself has provided space for a range of growing companies including three new start-ups. The project also supported more than 100 construction jobs during its building phase and now supports multiple jobs in the companies located on the estate.

Gavin Cordwell-Smith is Chief Executive of the site developer, the Hellens Group.

“Larch Court was the first speculative industrial development in North Tyneside since the credit crunch. The development had been stalled for a number of years and even though Hellens have a proven track record for delivering employment space we had been unable to progress our plans due to a lack of finance available to SME businesses in the current economic climate,” said Gavin.

“Whilst we obtained a grant from the European Regional Development Fund, the development was only able to proceed due to the loan we received from the North East LEP. We are delighted to have fully let the units within 18 months of completion and to have helped create and support jobs for a number of SME businesses in the process. The lettings have enabled us to pay back the loan to the North East LEP who we understand will be able to recycle the funds in order to benefit another project.”

Work began on the business park in November 2013 and the 17 units, which provide 34,000 square feet of business accommodation close to the A19 and just North of the Tyne Tunnel, were completed in July 2014.

Businesses which have taken up residence at West Chirton include a printing company, an engineering firm and a construction company.

The West Chirton development was supported by the North East Investment Fund – a capital loan fund which is available to support projects in the North East which will encourage local economic growth and create new jobs in the region. The fund is managed by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Jeremy Middleton, Chair of the North East LEP Investment Panel, said: “This project, now completed, is supporting a number of growing business here in the North East and is a fantastic example of a successful venture which benefits the region’s economy.

“The North East Investment Fund exists to help kick-start projects like this which need support at the outset but have great potential to create and safeguard jobs or strengthen the region’s transport, infrastructure and connectivity.”

More details on the North East Investment Fund and how to apply.

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Alan Schofield, financial director at Clouston Group at Stephenson QuarterRural Growth Network