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L-R: Chris Walker, RGN support officer at Advance Northumberland; Stuart Howarth, director at Newton Press).
Jane Imrie

County Durham firm to create 55 jobs with historic workspace conversion

A County Durham printing company is set to create 55 rural jobs by March 2020 with the conversion of its former premises into

Family business Newton Press has converted its old Newton Aycliffe site, a former munitions factory, into workspace units that can house up to 11 small businesses.

The building, which has been re-named Sydney House in honour of Newton Press founder Syd Howarth MBE, aims to provide workspace to small rural businesses.

Mr Howarth’s three sons Paul, Stuart and Christopher, who now run the business, plan to officially open Sydney House this summer, with six tenants already signed up.

Stuart Howarth, director of Newton Press, commented: “Early on in the project we realised that there was a real need in the town for high quality accommodation for smaller businesses. The building work required to convert our building was a huge commitment.

“A priority for us in terms of responsible development was making sure that the size of the units would qualify our tenants for small business rates relief, giving new and small business significant savings on business rates.

Newton Press received a grant of £110k to support the development from the Strategic Economic Infrastructure Fund (SEIF) element of the North East Rural Growth Network, a programme designed to accelerate business growth in rural communities.

Katy McIntosh, Rural Growth Network manager, commented: “These units are a much needed addition to Newton Aycliffe’s commercial property offer, something that is evidenced by the demand for space coming from small and micro-sized businesses.

“Three of the six contracted tenants are already occupying units and the project is on track to add 3 direct and 52 indirect new jobs to our rural economy by next March.”

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