BUILDERS were today praised for working through the worst the winter could throw at them – to make sure a £4.7m innovation centre stayed on course for a summer opening.
Inquiries are already coming in from companies keen to take office space in UK Steel Enterprise’s new extension to its Innovation Centre, on the Queens Meadow Estate in Hartlepool.
It should be ready by the middle of June thanks to engineers, project managers and builders who braved extreme conditions to see the new extension ready for occupation
It will almost double the size of the existing centre which stands just yards away and will provide 46 new offices, an extra reception area and parking space.
The JNP Group were appointed by UK Steel and Enterprise as the civil and structural engineers for the project.
JNP was the first tenant to move into the original centre in Hartlepool when it opened in 2005.
Colin Cook returned to his home town to head the Teesside office for the Chesham-based consulting engineers and the office has expanded steadily since then with Dave Brookes, who runs the structures section, joining in 2008.
UKSE’s regional manager Simon Hamilton said: “We were delighted to be able to work alongside our very first tenant on this project and Colin and his team have done an excellent job.”
UK Steel Enterprise is the subsidiary of Tata Steel that supports businesses in steel areas. It provides offices and workshops without lengthy leases.
The Hartlepool Innvoation Centre has a manned reception areas, high security, 24 hour access, meeting rooms, state-of-the-art telecom systems and a gym and chill-out room.
Bosses say inquiries for offices in the new extension are coming from existing companies needing to expand as well as from start-up businesses.
The extension was built with support from One North East, Tees Valley Unlimited and Hartlepool Borough Council,
Mr Hamilton added: “The level of interest is a good sign for Hartlepool and the North East.
“We are incorporating a particularly high standard of finish into the extension from washrooms to the furniture so we are all really looking forward to seeing the completed building.”