Teesdale business hub 'a rare success story'
By Trevor Brookes - Editor
BUSINESS leaders have been told how a hub for Teesdale enterprise is “still showing its worth” 20 years after it was created while many other public-funded schemes have fallen by the wayside.
Enterprise House, in Barnard Castle, marked the occasion with fizz and cake last Wednesday. Guests included councillors, business people and enterprise advisers.
Alastair Dinwiddie, the chairman of Teesdale Development Company, which runs Enterprise House, explained how the venture had stood the test of time.
It was set up in Harmire Enterprise Park, Barnard Castle, in 1998 with public cash to bring training and business support services under one roof. Back then the internet and emails were in their infancy and funding was widely available, said Mr Dinwiddie.
He added that while the world had changed, Enterprise House’s mission was the same.
He told guests: “Over the years we have been home to the Enterprise Agency, Bishop Auckland College, the Job Centre, Radio Teesdale and even the Mercury together with numerous smaller businesses providing everything from accounting, planning and IT services to physio and acupuncture.
“The world of public sector funded projects, however, has changed dramatically in the last decade and this has required considerable creativity on our part to remain an enterprise hub.
“We have witnessed the rise and fall of organisations like One North East and Business Link and more locally Barnard Castle Vision, The Nest, Teesdale Marketing, the Enterprise Agency and even sadly from a personal perspective Radio Teesdale.
“In these challenging times, Enterprise House thrives and continues to catalyse enterprise in Teesdale and itself represents a unique example of a successful public sector investment where so many have failed.”
As well as offering state-of-the-art IT, businesses renting offices in The Hub can take advantage of reception services staffed by customer services manager Lynn Todhunter and assistant Jacquie Warner. Ms Todhunter, who has worked at Enterprise House for 20 years, described it as a great place to work, adding that she has enjoyed seeing businesses thrive.
Mr Dinwiddie said he was pleased people still see the centre as their first port of call for business advice.
He added technology had moved on dramatically in those two decades, but the business units in the building probably boasted the fastest broadband in the dale.