A North East housebuilder is encouraging businesses of all sizes across County Durham to have their say on a wide range of issues from jobs to wages, to help shape Durham County Council’s new Inclusive Economic Strategy.

Innovative modular housebuilder CoreHaus opened its first UK manufacturing site at Jade Business Park in Murton, near Seaham, last year and has since recruited a highly skilled team to produce its unique modular homes.

The fast-growing company feels it is essential that businesses across County Durham – regardless of size – have their say on a three-month long consultation on the County Durham Inclusive Economic Strategy.

Durham County Council wants businesses to share challenges and provide ideas which could help shape a strategy for the county now and for future generations of business leaders, entrepreneurs and residents.

Scott Bibby, Managing Director at CoreHaus, said: “It’s important that businesses across the county have their say and work with Durham County Council to create a strategy that’s inclusive for everyone – regardless of size, sector or location. Ultimately, if you don’t say what you want, you can’t expect the results you’re after.

“We opened our first manufacturing site at Jade Business Park last year as part of ambitious scale up plans. With such a great facility located in the heart of the North East, the competitive rate and skilled labour market it felt like the perfect choice – this is why the economy is so important as a driving factor for businesses in County Durham.

“The county has a highly skilled and rich labour market which has allowed us to employ a diverse and experienced team from the surrounding area but there’s still high levels of unemployment across County Durham. For us, it is crucial that we train and develop talent from within and ultimately create those opportunities for people locally, which is another reason why the economy is vital for people and business’ success.

“We’re looking to scale up production over five years to build 1000 homes per year and employ up to 300 workers from across the North East. Availability of good quality housing is vital for economic growth in the county and it’s crucial that we work with the council and Business Durham to create an economy that is made for each and every business and one that is futureproofed for generations to come.” 

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Cabinet member for economy and partnerships at Durham County Council, said: “With latest figures showing that the number of businesses in Durham reached a record high in 2021, it’s imperative that businesses and organisations from across the private and public sectors in the county work better together to ensure a mutually beneficial successful economy for our collective, long-term future.

“We urge businesses of all shapes and sizes from across all parts of the county to get involved and join our big econ-versation. It’s important that businesses have their say on a wide range of important issues and help us to create a new and ambitious Inclusive Economic Strategy.”

The economic strategy for the future will harness the county’s strengths and address areas for improvement. Shaped by residents and businesses, the strategy will become a comprehensive, inclusive plan to help County Durham achieve its growth ambitions. It will also enable the county to secure further investment and support from regional and national private and public sector organisations until 2023.

County Durham is already a major economic force in the North East, with 533,100 residents, supporting 174,000 jobs in 14,565 businesses. It contributes £9 billion to the regional economy each year. With a rich and vibrant cultural scene, Durham has been longlisted for the title of UK City of Culture 2025.

Residents and businesses can join the big econ-versation now by visiting www.durhamecon-versation.co.uk, by emailing Econ-versation@durham.gov.uk or calling 03000 260000.

People will be able to give their views in response to questions around the themes of people, places, prosperity and planet. The deadline for views and comments is 5pm on Friday 22 April.

News source: Durham County Council.

Scott Bibby Managing Director at CoreHaus