NETPark or North East Technology Park is a science park in Sedgefield, County Durham, England.

The park is on the site of the former Winterton Hospital and is home to several high-tech companies specialising in fields such as nanotechnology, X-Ray technology, forensics and semiconductor technology.

Since its inception in 2000, NETPark has developed a number of facilities including the NETPark Plexus, NETPark Discovery 1 & 2 and NETPark Explorer buildings.

NETPark has strong links with the High Value Manufacturing Catapult through the National Printable Electronics Centre, part of the Centre for Process Innovation. Durham University is also part of the science community, through the NETPark Research Institute which was the first building to be constructed on the site.

HistoryEdit

2000Edit

Arrangements are completed to transfer control of the site of Winterton Hospital in Sedgefield from NHS Estates to Durham County Council.

2001Edit

Demolition of the Victorian hospital buildings is completed.

2002Edit

The site of NETPark is cleared of all rubble, and the central roadway – later to become Thomas Wright Way – is in place.

2003Edit

In May, ground is broken for NETPark’s first building, the NETPark Research Institute.

2004Edit

In July the NETPark Research Institute is complete and ready for occupation by advanced research groups from Durham University. Work commences on the construction of the NETPark Incubator.

2005Edit

Construction of the NETPark Incubator is complete and it is formally opened by Prime Minister Tony Blair, in whose constituency it is located. Work begins on the construction of Centre for Process Innovation's then-named PETEC.

2006Edit

The Incubator’s first occupants, Durham Scientific Crystals (later to become Kromek plc) move in. They are followed by several other hi-tech companies during the year.

2007Edit

Plans are finalised and approved for Phase 2 of the Incubator. The Printable Electronics Technology Centre is complete and ready for its complex fit-out. NETPark Net, the virtual science and innovation network, opens for business.

2008Edit

Work gets underway on Phase 2 of the Incubator during the early part of the year, and preparations are made for Kromek to move into additional temporary accommodation to cope with their rapid expansion. Fit-out work is complete at the Printable Electronics Technology Centre.

2009Edit

In March, the Printable Electronics Centre is formally opened by Lord Mandelson, then Secretary of State for Business & Enterprise. In May, work commences on a new building which will ultimately be occupied by Kromek, and in July CPI announces a further £20m investment in the Printable Electronics Technology Centre to nearly double its size.

2010Edit

In June Dr Arnab Basu, CEO of Kromek signs the lease which gives his company occupation of its own 1600m2 HQ and production facility after five years of rapid growth at NETPark. Also in June, the crew of Space Shuttle mission STS-132 formally open Phase 2 of the Incubator, with the help of local schoolchildren.

2011Edit

In February, a ground-breaking ceremony takes place to launch work on two 'grow-on space' units to provide additional space for expanding technology companies. In July, CPI announces that the expanded Printable Electronics Technology Centre will "… work directly with the UK’s design, print and packaging industries to deliver cutting-edge electronic functionality into manufacturable printed products". Later in the year it is announced that the centre will become a High Value Manufacturing 'Catapult' centre.

2012Edit

March: Discovery 1 and Discovery 2, the two 'grow-on space' units are complete and ready for occupation. And NETPark again hosts a visit from a NASA astronaut: Col. Ron Garan. Membership of NETPark Net, the virtual innovation network of science, engineering and technology companies, reaches 300.

2013Edit

December: Filtronic join NETPark. Manufacturing P2P Modules for the telecoms industry, they move from the former Fujitsu plant at Newton Aycliffe.

2018Edit

March 2018, the new NETPark Explorer building opens. It was officially opened by Stuart Martin, chief executive of the Satellite Applications Catapult, who visit the centre at its base at the North East Technology Park (NETPark). The NETPark Explorer building has already proven to be a success after winning two new tenants, X-ray imaging specialist Ibex and electronics firm PragmatIC, before its official opening.

In the Summer of 2018, CK Group, a specialist Scientific recruitment company that has been in the North East since the year 2000 moved into facilities at NETPark.

In November 2018, NETPark Incubator was renamed to NETPark Plexus. NETPark Plexus shares its new name with the Plexus sculpture located at the entrance to the Park, commissioned by Arts Council England for NETPark and constructed entirely from inflated metal panels which function as the load-bearing structural elements of the design. The original concept saw the fusion of various themes, including wormholes, grid networks and the representation of movement through time and space.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 54°40′13″N 1°27′00″W / 54.6704°N 1.4501°W / 54.6704; -1.4501