Subscribe to our newsletter





European Regional Development Fund

2,370 sq m

four storey space

Innovation Central, Darlington

Specialist office and laboratory space to power Darlington’s SMEs and supporting economic growth and job creation.

Our specialist commercial and innovation team is proud to have delivered a new space designed to power local businesses at the heart of Darlington, and to continue our partnership with Darlington Borough Council.

The new Innovation Central at Central Park provides office space and laboratories and will support economic growth and job creation while increasing the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Innovation Central 1.png

Darlington Borough Council secured funding for the four-storey site with £4.7m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), £2.8m from the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority, £480,000 from the government’s Getting Building fund, as well as £60,000 council funding.

The building is operated by North East Business & Innovation Centre (BIC) which runs the existing Business Central office space on Central Park.

Council leader Heather Scott said:

“This exciting work which has created a modern and flexible workplace will help businesses collaborate, innovate and grow. Our investment into this centre will increase opportunities for local businesses, create quality jobs and generate the momentum needed to help the local economy bounce back from the impacts of this pandemic."
“It is a chance for Darlington to focus on entrepreneurship and business growth, and the centre is a fantastic opportunity for new and existing businesses looking for the combination of lab and office space which will sit well alongside the existing CPI Biologics and Teesside University Horizons buildings.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said:

“I’m delighted that this project has been completed, adding even more value to Central Park and Darlington, a town increasingly hitting the headlines."
“CPI, Teesside University and its National Horizons Centre are already delivering world-leading research and innovation, helping us punch above our weight in the biosciences sector and make our mark locally, nationally and internationally."
“This space will deliver even more scope for growth in that sector, and many more, in turn creating more good-quality, well-paid jobs for local people which – as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic - is more important than ever.”

Paul McEldon, CEO at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) Ltd, said:

“We are delighted to have been involved in this exciting project and together with the council and all the partners, we’ve developed a centre that not only accommodates and supports businesses but drives growth through innovation. Since 1994, the BIC has helped to create over 7,000 jobs across the North East region. As the operator for Innovation Central we will continue to build on this achievement and support the development of many more businesses and jobs in Darlington.”

Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the North, said:

“We are delighted to have built upon our long-standing relationships in the Tees Valley to deliver the Innovation Central building for Darlington Borough Council."
“The building will be at the forefront of technological advancement in the area, helping to create new jobs and boost the local economy, we are proud to play our part in making this possible.”

Mark Robinson, Group Chief Executive, SCAPE, said:

“Creating tangible investment opportunities is vital to attract investment to the North of England. By Willmott Dixon delivering the new Innovation Central through a collaboration of funding streams for Darlington Borough Council, they are creating an exciting hub that will create jobs, bring further investment to the local area and be delivered with genuine, measurable social value!”

Leaving a legacy in Darlington

The delivery of Darlington’s Innovation Central marks the 24th project for Willmott Dixon in the Tees Valley in the last 12 years, leaving a legacy of investment, with more than 60% of its total projects’ budget spent with local businesses.

In May 2020, the company handed over the £8.5m Feethams House office development; a building, specifically designed to stimulate the local economy by attracting inward investment and supporting new and growing businesses. It is already playing an important part in Darlington Borough Council’s economic vision for the town.


  • To provide critical office space and laboratories and support economic growth and job creation.
  • Increase the competitiveness of the region’s small and medium sized enterprise businesses.
  • Adding even more value to Darlington’s Central Park area.
  • To be operated by North East Business & Innovation Centre (BIC).




Dukesway, Team Valley Trading Estate, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear

NE11 0PZ

Tel: 0191 482 4824

Fax: 0191 491 0346