An award-winning engineering consultancy company has revealed plans to develop a northern base after opening a new office at Innovation Central, Darlington.
Bristol headquartered Clarkebond already has regional offices in London and Exeter and delivers wide ranging engineering projects for industry, developers and governments across the world.
Now, the company has put down roots in the North East of England after a contract win to help deliver the SeAH Wind’s offshore wind monopile factory at Teesworks, which is part of the Teesside’s Freeport site opened up more growth opportunities in the region.
Darlington-born Anthony Hoare has been appointed Regional Director and is responsible for developing the firm’s newest office to deliver a fully multidisciplined civil and structural engineering service. The Innovation Central team now features four engineers and technicians and recruitment will continue as new client relationships are built.
“Our work on the SeAH Wind factory was the catalyst for Clarkebond’s Northern expansion,” Anthony said. “The company has recognised how up-and-coming the area is. The huge investment in projects including government offices like the Treasury is a great indication of the confidence and potential of the area and we can’t wait to be a part of it.
“We can already see lots of opportunities to get involved in new projects within our specialist sectors including residential, industrial and healthcare.
“Though Clarkebond has been established for 75 years and has a strong track record in the sector, we’re not well known here yet so I’m looking forward to extending our reach northward.”
Anthony was initially based in the coworking lounge at Darlington’s Business Central, before expanding into a dedicated office at new sister site Innovation Central in January. But he fully expects to move again to a bigger office in the building as new contracts are secured and recruitment continues.
He added: “One of the main attractions to Innovation Central is the flexibility of the tenancy. As a new branch of the business, things could change quite quickly for us as we begin to explore opportunities, but we have lots of scope to grow by simply moving to a larger unit down the hall.
“It’s exciting to be among the first tenants to move into the building. We’re still getting to know our neighbours but there are so many innovative companies under one roof and that has to be good for business.”
Councillor Chris McEwan, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for economy, said:
“We are delighted to welcome Clarkebond to Innovation Central as part of their business growth journey. This new site offers even more options to businesses looking to expand into our region and take advantage of the many benefits Darlington has to offer in terms of facilities, skilled workforce, connectivity and transport links.
“With the continued development of Darlington Railway Station and the opportunities offered by the relocation of several Government departments to form the Darlington Economic Campus, our borough is well and truly open for business.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This is another superb example of how our work to transform Teesworks is not only bringing benefits directly to the site but also to our wider local economy as we attract quality companies to set up base in our area.
“Clarkebond has recognised the huge potential our area has to offer as we progress major developments which are transforming Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.
“It’s great to see businesses such as Clarkebond expanding here and setting up new offices which are providing good quality, well-paid jobs for local workers.”
Innovation Central features 45 Grade A offices and five labs, all designed as flexible spaces where businesses can grow. The project is jointly funded by Darlington Borough Council, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), £3.55million from the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority, and the Government’s Getting Building Fund.
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