Business boost for region

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A CHEMICAL giant has announced plans to create a new global centre at a business park that will safeguard hundreds of jobs.

The Pigments Division of the Huntsman chemical firm will create a new business centre at Wynyard Business Park, Hartlepool.

Bosses say the move will safeguard almost 300 jobs as staff currently based at Wilton and Haverton Hill will relocate to the site.

The announcement has been hailed as a massive boost for the 700-acre business park and a huge vote of confidence in the Tees Valley and the North-East in general.

Huntsman says it will allow the business to benefit from having teams in one place so it can better service its customers, be more efficient and continue to grow.

 The division is taking over a 54,000 sq ft high-quality building that will include modern purpose-built offices and create 31,000 sq ft of innovative new laboratory space. Huntsman Pigments president Simon Turner said: “The pigments division is a $1.5bn global business with manufacturing sites in seven countries on four continents.”

Wynyard Business Park chief executive Chris Musgrave, from Hartlepool, said: “We are proud that one of the world’s leading chemical companies has chosen us as the base for the new business centre.

“We started out in 2005 and have since attracted more than £250m of private investment. Huntsman’s decision is further endorsement of our commitment to provide the perfect environment for businessess to flourish.

“Coming on the back of other recent big industrial announcements, including SSI and the former Corus plant at Redcar, Hitachi in Newton Aycliffe and Nifco UK in Stockton, this is further evidence of how the region is spearheading the economic recovery.”