Is 2020 the year the 'Road to Nowhere' finally goes places? Work continues to redevelop former cokeworks into business park

The New Year will see construction continue on development which aims to turn the ‘Road to Nowhere’ into a thriving business park.

Sunday, 5th January 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Monday, 6th January 2020, 9:48 am

Work on land off the A182 interchange near Dalton Park in Murton began in 2007 and was set to become part of the East Durham Link Road, which was to join the road south of Easington Lane and the B1285 west of Murton.

But the plans for the new route across the former Hawthorn cokeworks plot were axed, while the road was sealed off to vehicles as work stalled on the site, leading to the nickname Road to Nowhere, with the stretch popular with cyclists, runners and dog walkers.

Now 2020 will see construction finished on the first unit on the Jade Business Park, with the 50,000sq ft building to be occupied by Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems Europe.

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Work is already underway on the Jade Business Park near Dalton Park.
Work is already underway on the Jade Business Park near Dalton Park.

The firm, founded in Japan, makes and distributes automotive wiring harnesses, fuse boxes, connectors and cables and already has 20,000 workers across Europe, with bases in 65 countries.

In addition to the Sumitomo unit, where work started last October, it will have six other single storey units, with phase one of the park expected to be complete by June.

These are up for let for light industrial use, ranging from £69,431 a year to rent up to £194,500 a year, with tenants to be offered Enterprise Zone Status business rates savings.

Jade Business Park is under construction off the A182 A19 interchange near Murton.

As Sumitomo launched, Peter McDowell, property and business services director at Business Durham, said: “It’s fantastic to see such a high profile and successful business take the first lease at Jade Business Park.

“The site’s location makes it the perfect base for companies involved in the automotive construction supply chain like Sumitomo.

“With further speculative units available at Jade Park, this is a very promising and exciting start.

The park could create up to 2,500 new jobs for East Durham once complete.

“Business Durham is thrilled to be able to offer such fantastic employment space to businesses within Durham and further afield.”