Christmas message from Paul McEldon

As 2015 draws to a close it’s a great time to reflect on the highs of the last 12 months.

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This year at the BIC has been one of the fastest paced I have ever encountered. It is hard to believe that under a year ago we had just one location in Sunderland. We end the year with three centres after welcoming The Hub Washington and Business Central Darlington to our business community.

As we expanded our property portfolio we also welcomed new members to our team; Vanessa Wood joined as centre manager and along with Ian Frostwick and Margaret Binns run the Darlington site. The Hub also added to their team; Lindsay Capeling and Nicola Johnson joined as business space administrators. Our colleagues at the two centres have brought with them a wealth of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm.

And here in Sunderland we also welcomed new business advisers, Andy Brown, Ron Anderson and also Auriel Blair to help deliver the business startup support. Our commitment in providing a platform for apprentices to gain the right skills has also remained at the forefront, currently we are joined by apprentice Charlotte Henderson.

Earlier this year we welcomed newly appointed North East LEP innovation director, Hans Moller, to our site, following his visit, Hans said: “The BIC is one of the most prosperous Innovation Hubs in the North East with a proven track record of promoting growth and innovation in SMEs.”

Our commitment to the environment saw the wind turbine replaced with a Solar PV Tracker, helping us to continue to reduce our carbon footprint.  The BIC were the first business park in the North East to generate electricity in this manner.

Our events programme expanded this year offering bespoke workshops, including a series of Creative Workshops providing insight to businesses in this sector. Our Christmas Market also returned this year by popular demand.

I am excited to announce that in 2016 our events calendar is looking busier than ever with the Mussel Club on board, social media cafes as well as our existing marketing surgeries, watch this space.

Last month I was in London taking part in the National Enterprise Network Awards. It gives me great pleasure to announce that the BIC walked away with National Communicator of the Year!
I look forward to 2016 and the innovative prospects and programmes that it will bring.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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