The Rt Hon Eric Pickles joins Miller Construction at Harton Staithes
10.06.11 Company: Miller Construction
The new £10.5 million business centre at Harton Staithes, South Shields, being built by Miller Construction on behalf of South Tyneside Council, has taken a further step closer to completion, following a ceremony, to celebrate the progress being made. The new 43,000 sq ft building will house BT operations from many lines of business, providing workspace for up to 500 staff.
Tom de le Motte, Managing Director, Miller Construction, was delighted to invite The Rt Hon Eric Pickles, MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government; Martin Swales Chief Executive of South Tyneside Council, and Neil Rogers, President of Government and Health, BT Global Services, to join him in creating a ceremonial brick, to mark the occasion.
The progress celebration was commemorated by an ancient Persian ritual, believed to be 500 years old, in which symbolic elements are added to a concrete pour to ensure the prosperity and success of the development.
Tom de la Motte, Managing Director, Miller Construction, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this event to celebrate the progress being made on the new business centre at Harton Staithes. This project is a great example of how the public and private sector can work together to come up with innovative funding solutions that allow schemes to happen even in these difficult economic times.”
The Chief Executive of South Tyneside Council, Martin Swales said: “This spectacular riverside building represents a major milestone in the regeneration of the Borough. All great partnerships are built on solid foundations and this one will play a central role in our economy for years to come.
“The BT South Tyneside partnership will create hundreds of new jobs and I believe that the presence of a blue-chip company with a global brand will be a magnet for other businesses who want to be part of our exciting future.
“Local companies have also been benefiting from the various supply contracts associated with the project since construction work got under way and traders in South Shields town centre are already looking forward to the boost they will receive when the building opens its doors to hundreds of staff.”
South Tyneside Council acquired the site from One North East, which owns the remaining land at Harton Staithes. The new development will bring hundreds of workers into South Shields town centre, increasing footfall in the area which will result in a boost for local businesses.
Neil Rogers, President, Government and Health, BT Global Services, said: “I’m delighted to see the progress being made in finishing the building and BT are very much looking forward to taking up occupancy in what will undoubtedly be a flagship location for us.”
The Persian ritual consists of a number of different elements being added to the ceremonial brick. Wine – to bring fertility and wisdom; oil – to preserve liberty; corn – for the property to ripen in abundance; salt – added as a sign of purity and hospitality and the final ingredient, a Yew branch, is added to ward off evil spirits.
Mr Eric Pickles was invited to begin proceedings by adding wine, followed by Martin Swales who added the oil, symbolising the regeneration of the riverside at South Shields. The corn was added by Neil Rogers of BT, representing the continued success of BT and its staff as they move into their new building in the North East. Tom de la Motte added salt, illustrating Miller Construction’s hospitality and the purity of their partnership with South Tyneside Council. Garry Hope, Operations Director, North, Miller Construction, added the Yew branch to complete the ceremony.