A BUSINESS facility is giving more SMEs the chance to grow as it nears full occupancy.

The Novus II Centre in Seaham was opened in 2013 as part of East Durham Business Service’s plans to encourage a more people in the area to take the chance at being their own boss.

The 15,500 sq ft facility, at Spectrum Business Park, has helped dozens of businesses pursue their plans, either from launch or at the growth stage, and many have enjoyed major success and expansion since making the move.

These companies include an accountancy firm, a training provider, a mobile phone application company and a recruitment consultant, who between them employ more than 50 people.

Denise Fielding, Director of Operations at East Durham Business Service, said: “We are extremely happy with the increased occupancy levels at Novus II Business Centre.

“What’s even more encouraging is that our tenants are growing, and some have increased the office space they occupy which is exactly what we want.

“We offer occupants a great deal of support and the quality of our facilities impresses everyone that comes to look around.

“We are now over three quarters full and the centre is really thriving but the aim to be fully occupied still remains and we’re not far off that.

“We are keen to hear from businesses who are looking to move into rented space and those who, whilst maybe not thinking about it right now, are open to a move in the future.”

The Novus II Business Centre was part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Durham County Council.

Denise added: “Our facility in Seaham offers the perfect environment for businesses to realise their ambitions and gives an opportunity for people to make their idea work.

“Whether they are a start-up company looking for their first leased offices or a growing company keen to take additional space to help implement their expansion plans – the Novus II Business Centre provides a range of opportunities.

“With the quality of conference facilities and meeting rooms, which are available on an as and when needed basis, there is something to accommodate every requirement.”

One of the companies that has enjoyed major growth since moving into Novus II Business Centre, in a relatively short space of time is Redu, which saves customers money on shopping.

Gary Hunter, Managing Director of Redu, now employs more than five people and praised EDBS’s commitment to SMEs.

Gary said: “When we first moved in we knew what we wanted to do but didn’t envisage just how quickly we could grow.

“Novus provides everything we need from meeting rooms with clients to the kitchens for staff. It has allowed us to grow and really catered to all of our needs throughout our time here and the EDBS team is always willing to help us take our business to the next level.”

Another of Novus II Business Centre’s success stories is DDR Staffing Solutions and Red Line, which are run by husband and wife team Donna and Dave Rowlands.

Donna said: “Both of our businesses are going from strength to strength and we now occupy two offices at Novus II Business Centre and employ 10 people including one apprentice. I definitely think moving into a professional business environment has accelerated our growth and this year we will recruit further and expect our turnover will surpass £2.5m which is fantastic.”