“There’s a large number of people who work hand in hand to move things on – they have a very proactive mentality and approach.”

Professor Stuart Corbridge
Vice-Chancellor and Warden, Durham University

In Durham, we have a very active council with a willing workforce that works with business leaders, as well as an active North East England Chamber of Commerce. We are a big exporting region with an attitude of ‘let’s get on with it’.

The University plays an important part in the region. Durham is in the top 100 universities worldwide and is consistently in the top 10 in the UK. We contribute to life here in so many ways – such as culture, investment and working with business.

“The business leaders I’ve met up here are very pragmatic and self-confident and will all tell you the North East has a huge amount to contribute.”

We partner local organisations with capital investment projects like NETPark and our Durham City campus; as a University, we have great ambitions and by the time we’ve finished with these projects we’ll have invested around £1 billion. We have close links with many businesses too – I’ve found the dense business ecosystem here means you form strong relationships very easily with a wider range of people. 

We want to make Durham even more enterprising and see more spin-outs from our scientists, the business school and our students; we also know research and development is important, with a need to provide research, for example into surface sciences and energy, which will be used by businesses. 

“No big commutes, the beauty of the area, the Dales, the coast – it’s very attractive.”

Equally attractive to any business though, is the lifestyle here – especially compared with more southerly locations. This is an unbelievably friendly place. I’ve lived all over the country and the people up here are quite special. It’s no exaggeration to say the quality of life makes living here a joy on a daily basis.

£4.9 million awarded from the UK Government’s Connecting Capabilities Fund to the Northern Accelerator, a collaboration with other regional universities to deliver a step change in commercialising research to deliver economic impact

£3.4 million invested in The Durham City Incubator - a unique partnership between Business Durham, Durham University and New College Durham to increase new business start-ups and graduate retention

Durham University is in the
World Top 100 

40+ companies spun out from Durham University since 1997

£1 billion planned capital investment by Durham University by 2027


 “There are many great reasons for moving here, living here, starting a family here and growing a business here – I feel very passionately about that.”

Simon Henig
Leader, Durham County Council

Simon Henig    Leader, Durham County Council

Simon Henig
Leader, Durham County Council

I’m always amazed at the reaction when people come here and see how beautiful the county is. Often, they have an image of heavy industry that’s 30 or 40 years out of date. Then they discover that the reality is, you’re always close to countryside, there’s a huge variety of landscapes and historic buildings and it’s really easy to get around the entire region.

“There’s a lot of positivity and things are moving forward
at a pace.”

For businesses, we’ve many other attractions of course. Really competitive costs, good access to ports to make importing and exporting easier and great sites available across the county. But the biggest attraction of all is our people and their positivity.

They’re very enthusiastic, loyal and adaptable. There’s a huge variety of skills here, and a strong pool of well-educated talent ready to step into whatever career they want. Our job is to make it as attractive as possible for businesses to come here and create jobs for our young people.

“We need to be as responsive as we can be to help
businesses grow.”

We’re working to rapidly move our economy forward. We rolled out superfast broadband as a priority, as it’s so important for businesses. We have really strong partnerships across the county, collaborating with many different organisations and the University to make things happen. We’ll do everything we can to help businesses have whatever they need.

There’s a real momentum here, and we’re just getting into our stride. This is an exciting time - we’d like everyone to see what we have to offer, and we invite everyone to be part of it.

A total of £3.4 billion planned investment in the county

100,000 more jobs to be created by 2024

£1,200 improvement in GVA per annum (on target to achieve aim of £49,000 by 2020)

305 hectares of land for strategic and general employment development and 25,992 new
homes by 2035

£370 million Aykley Heads, Durham City planned investment with the potential creation of 6,000 private sector jobs