£10m HQ plan will safeguard 74 jobs at Chesterton company
SEVENTY-FOUR jobs have been safeguarded after plans for a company's new headquarters were approved.
Chesterton-based International Decorative Surfaces will now move to a new base at Parkhouse Interchange, on Parkhouse Industrial Estate.
Planning committee members at Newcastle Borough Council granted the firm permission for a £10 million overhaul of its disused warehouse.
International Decorative Surfaces, currently based in Holditch Road, is the UK's biggest distributor of surfaces such as laminates, worktops and flooring.
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The company, which has 16 sites around the country employing 400 people, chose the Parkhouse site due to its good transport links.
Committee members followed their officers' recommendation to approve the plans on the condition the firm pays £16,591 towards transport improvements.
Committee member John Williams said: "It is great to see this development going ahead on this empty unit."
The proposals include plans for a two-storey extension, a new loading bay and an increase in parking as well as a 61,000 sq ft warehouse, a 2,500 ft showroom, a 50-seat lecture theatre and office accommodation.
According to its planning application, International Decorative Surfaces wanted to relocate to Parkhouse Interchange on account of the site's central location, its accessibility to major transport networks, and its prominence on the A34.
The application states: "The site is located to the north of Newcastle town centre.
"It benefits from excellent road links to Junction 16 of the M6 motorway, via the A500, and has a wide catchment area for potential employees and local businesses, who can benefit from this new venture."
The changes at the Parkhouse Interchange would consist of a two-storey extension, a new loading bay and an increase in parking.
Two-thirds of the site will be used for storage, while the remaining third would be used for manufacturing.
The application states that the new headquarters will provide employment for 80 staff, and result in 10 more people being employed by the company.
Eddie Boden, councillor for Chesterton and cabinet member for regeneration, said the council always encouraged expanding businesses to stay in the borough.
He said: "It's absolutely fantastic that International Decorative Surfaces are staying in Newcastle.
"As a council we do everything we can to make Newcastle as attractive as possible to businesses.
"We want to encourage new businesses to come and existing companies to stay here. It's great that International Decorative Surfaces will now have the opportunity to expand."
The site will be in operation 24-hours a day, Monday to Friday, with normal working hours on Saturday and Sunday.
A 40-space car park will be provided for staff permanently based at the premises, with an additional 45 spaces for trade counter customers and visiting staff from other branches.
The firm plans to complete its move to Parkhouse Interchange by early 2014 at the latest, with work due to get underway in March.
Nobody at International Decorative Surfaces was available for comment.
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