Hundreds of jobs have been created and millions of pounds of investment have been secured for Peterlee Business Park.

A number of the park’s major employers have expanded their presence in the area in 2016, adding to their workforces in the process.

Peterlee’s three main automotive suppliers, ZF TRW, Mecaplast and NSK Bearings have all undergone periods of significant growth.

ZF TRW, now the world’s third largest manufacturer of parts for the motor industry, is on track to take its workforce to over 1,000 by 2017, having recruited both experienced and young talent this year.

French owned Mecaplast is rounding off a successful 12 months on a high after winning a lucrative contract to supply to Jaguar Land Rover, and has also invested heavily in its succession planning programme by working in partnership with Apollo Studio Academy to bring apprentices into the business in a number of areas.

And NSK has also seen its business grow in the year the Peterlee plant celebrated its 40th birthday and the group marked 100 years in business.

Sarah Slaven, Business Development Director at Business Durham, said: “Peterlee Business Park is County Durham’s second largest business zone and is making such an important contribution to the area’s economic growth.

“Over the last few years, with the support of the networking group set up to support businesses in the area, the park has undergone a period of significant growth with employers of all sizes looking to create jobs and expand their presence.

“Having spent time speaking to a number of businesses, it’s evident there’s a real feel good factor which is helping put the area on the map for all the right reasons.”

Other highlights for the year include GT Group and Seaward Electronic being acquired; Profound Services and TACS Training reaching their 10-year milestones; GEM Premium People making Ward Hadaway’s list of the 50 fastest growing companies in the North East; and the Employability Trust adding to its client portfolio by winning work with companies across the region.

And smaller businesses are also putting themselves in the limelight, with Richard Martin’s garage, Automotive Solutions, taking on a second business unit to facilitate its growth; and Nouveau Dance and Fitness expanding into Yorkshire.

Steve Metcalfe, Chairman of the Peterlee Business Park steering group, said: “So many of our businesses have gone from strength to strength this year, and the good news is their growth shows no signs of slowing down.

“And it isn’t just the so called bigger companies who have experienced success; employers of all sizes are reporting good things with many forging new links through our successful networking group which is what it’s all about.”