Council Provides £3.4 Million Home for Local Businesses

Council Provides £3.4 Million Home for Local Businesses
Aykley Heads is becoming a centre for innovation

A state-of-the-art building designed to attract and support cutting-edge businesses has been officially declared open in Durham City. Salvus House will be the focus of a new cooperative partnership between Durham County Council, New College Durham and Durham University.

Established firms will be able to rent parts of the new, £3.4 million building’s 32,000 square feet of office space. In addition, Salvus House will include an ‘incubation space’ – a part of the building containing units that can be rented by start-ups.

Eventually, it is hoped the start-ups will settle into offices on Durham’s Aykley Heads site. The leader of Durham County Council, Simon Henig, commented, “The opening of Salvus House is just one example of how County Durham is fast becoming a beacon for business, attracting leading lights of their industries to locate here, and in turn bringing investment, job security and business diversity to our county.”

Mr Henig added,

“We are leading the way when it comes to attracting new business to County Durham and supporting those existing businesses looking to expand here.”

The council hopes that the revenue generated by the site will enable Salvus House to become self-supporting in four years’ time.

The Aykley Heads site has already seen a number of success stories, most famously that of Atom Bank. Atom Bank is the first UK financial institution to offer people banking solely via their mobile phones. The company is so innovative that it doesn’t even have a logo, but rather allows customers to design their own. Atom Bank was recently ranked in the world top ten of finance tech start-ups.

Rather than charging Atom rent for the site, the council has instead taken shares in the start-up venture. Atom commented,

“We’re based in Durham. It’s lovely here. We’re getting to know our neighbours and hope to be part of the community for years to come.”

The council now hopes Durham can build on such success with Salvus House, by supplying cutting-edge premises to lure firms to the north east, which will in turn enhance Aykley Heads’ reputation as a base for the most innovative businesses.

Councillor Neil Foster, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said,

“The opening of Salvus House marks another stage in our commitment to building a stronger economy and creating jobs in County Durham.”

“We are looking forward to seeing new companies flourish here at our business incubator.”

More information about the Salvus House project can be found at enquiries@businessdurham.co.uk.

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