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Business centre nurtures voles and ventures

Date 6 Nov 2006
Author The Editor
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A new £2.5million business centre in Peterlee is helping to nurture not just new business ventures but also water voles, thanks to North East architects Dewjo’c, Easington District Council and East Durham Development Agency. The Novus Business Centre aims to encourage business start-ups in East Durham and is built on the edge of Wapping Burn, a water vole habitat whose embankments are protected by law.

Architects Dewjo’c say that they have taken particular care in the design of the site to create an environment that will stimulate and encourage creative new businesses, but that also respects and enhances the natural habitat around the building. The company worked with Easington District Council’s wildlife officer to enhance the local habitat by increasing the area of undisturbed ground around the stream. In places an irregular mowing line increases the ‘wild area’ even further, encouraging the rare creatures to breed.

Geoff Stephenson, Dewjo’c architect, said: “I am very pleased with the final results at Novus Business Centre. “We are always very aware of the environment within which we design any building and attempt to be as sympathetic as possible to the natural surroundings. In this case we had the opportunity to actually enhance the environment, to the benefit of both local wildlife and tenants.”

Sarah Slaven, manager of EDBS, said: “When we tendered for an architect to design Novus Business Centre, we were looking for a company who could create a modern, vibrant workspace as well as understand and work with the natural environment surrounding the building plot. “Dewjo’c has managed to meet all our needs.”

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