Time for us all to grow

Colin Griffiths of Stranton Business Centre.
Colin Griffiths of Stranton Business Centre.

HARTLEPOOL is ready for growth - with firms all set for expansion.

That was the message today from business chiefs as they reacted to the news that Britain’s economy grew by 1.9 per cent last year. It was the fastest pace of growth since 2007, although the pace of expansion slowed slightly to 0.7 per cent in the fourth quarter .

But the figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggested that the UK has now recovered the lion’s share of gross domestic product (GDP) lost during the recession.

Business consultant Colin Griffiths, based at the Stranton Business Centre in Hartlepool, said: “It’s good growth and it definitely bodes well for the future.

“People have talked to me about growth and I can see signs of improvement.

“The bad weather was probably what caused the dip in the figures when manufacturing would have taken a hit but people are generally more positive than they have been.”

The reaction was just as rosy in East Durham.

Richard Swart is the global operations director for Berger Group Europe, which includes Berger Closures, of Peterlee.

The company makes closing rings for metal, plastic and fibre drums.

Mr Swart said: “UK plc appears to be back in business. However, without wanting to put a dampener on things, extreme caution should still be exercised as significant hurdles remain.”

The Government has used one Peterlee business story as an example of how the country is turning the corner.

Engineering firm GT Group has received £100m of advanced orders. The company expanded its operations by 50,000 sq ft after extending into premises next to its existing manufacturing plant on Whitehouse Business Park.