Published: September 21, 2020
Region: North East
A commercial property company which transformed a former Tyneside dairy into a business park offering affordable office space is to develop more units thanks to a start up funding package from Unity Trust Bank.
Benton House Limited breathed new life into the eight-acre site on the Bellway Industrial Estate in Longbenton, Newcastle after it was left derelict in 2005.
The company provides competitive rents and flexible leases for start-up businesses and firms looking to reduce their overheads. The loan from Unity Trust Bank, the commercial bank with a social conscience will enable three new units to open.
“Benton House Limited offers a range of incentives to help companies in the North East. Support like this is very important, especially after the difficulties experienced by many businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Benton House Limited is the brainchild of former soldier Courtney Clift. He was brought up in a deprived area in Newcastle.
After leaving the Army, he started a refrigeration recycling business. Courtney identified a need to develop affordable commercial property which focused on disadvantaged groups and start-ups.
Mr Clift bought the Longbenton site in 2011 and recruited skilled tradesmen from the local community to develop it.
Phil Rodgers, Commercial Director at Benton House Limited, said: “BHL isn’t a traditional property investment company.
“We look at the people as well as the businesses. For this reason, likeminded businesses have been attracted to the site and more cross-trading and support has happened organically.
“Several local contractors that worked on the site also became tenants, developed their businesses and created new jobs.
“Our aim is to continue to offer new businesses the opportunity to access premises and support without crippling them financially from the point of start-up.
“We were keen to secure a long-term stable relationship with a commercial bank. We chose Unity because of their socially focused mandate and pragmatic approach to sustainable business.”