Durham is home to a wide range of successful businesses powered by amazing people, each with a unique story to tell.

Watch our People Stories below to get a true sense of what running a business in Durham is really like.

Professor Stuart Corbridge,
Durham University 

As one of the UK’s leading universities, Durham University is a Russell Group Institution with a community of more than 18,000 students and a staff count of over 4,000. 

Listed 5th in the Guardian University Guide (2019) and 6th in The Complete University Guide (2019), it also features in the top 100 of World University rankings for 2018-19.

Allison Raper,
Teesdale Cheesemakers 

Teesdale Cheesemakers is run by husband and wife team Allison and Jonathan Raper who took over the business in January 2016. It’s a family run business, using cows milk from the family dairy farm in Teesdale.

They have won over 33 awards for their cheeses, including Gold at the Yorkshire Show and Gold at the National Artisan Cheese Awards. In 2017, Allison was crowned North East Business Woman of the Year.    

Mark Dowdall,
Banks Group

The Banks Group is a family owned, County Durham based business employing over 300 people across the north of England and Scotland.

Established in 1976, it developed (with care) land for a variety of uses including surface coal mining, property and renewable energy.


 “There are good mentors here – business people in Durham want to see other businesses doing well.”

 Allison Raper
Owner, Teesdale Cheesemakers