MORE business units are planned for Hartlepool because they are being snapped up at such a fast rate.
The town has the best take-up of any of the Enterprise Zone sites in the Tees Valley.
But the huge demand means more factory space is needed, and that has led to proposals to build an extra 30,000 square metres of space at Queens Meadow where the Rivergreen Business Centre is based.
One hundred jobs have already been created by the firms that have moved onto Hartlepool’s EZ areas.
Council leader Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher said: “It could not have gone any better, to be filled to capacity.”
The extra investment comes at a time when Hartlepool is making massive inroads into its unemployment problem.
It had 2,551 people out of work in November 2014, compared to 2,648 a month earlier.
Youth unemployment has dropped from 17.2 per cent in 2012 to 8.9 per cent in September this year.
Coun Akers-Belcher said: “It is about apprenticeships and getting people into training, and supporting businesses to take on more staff.”
In August 2011, it was announced that Hartlepool had clinched a massive share of the enterprise zone planned for the Tees Valley. They were approved by the Government to be part of a zone consisting of just 12 sites.
Part of that zone was the Rivergreen Business Centre – the place within the Enterprise Zone which is attracting plenty of interest, and which is owned by Rivergreen Developments.
Back in July this year, the Hartlepool Mail told how C&A Pumps had moved into Hartlepool’s Enterprise Zone, joining the likes of Omega Plastics and Propipe.
Peter Candler, managing director of Rivergreen Developments, said at the time that workshops could be built within two years to meet demand.
Today, he added: “We are in the process of completing the legals for the last remaining units and before the end of the first quarter next year we expect to have the whole place occupied.”
Mr Candler agreed that more business space could be built and said: “It is certainly something where there is a very clear intention.”
Denise Ogden, Hartlepool Borough Council’s director of regeneration and neighbourhoods, told the Mail: “We are the most successful of the enterprise zones in the Tees Valley.”
Hartlepool’s section of the Enterprise Zone also includes land at the port area of town.
It is also attracting interest and investment. The worldwide installation company McDermott has struck a deal to set up a pipe spool operation on land owned by PD Ports.
The 30-acre site port site will allow McDermott to spool long pipe stalks on to ships which are heading out to offshore oil and gas fields.
Once the site is up and running, hopefully by the new year, around 100 people are expected to be working there.