Sarah Slaven, Interim Managing Director of Business Durham

A County Durham business cost consultancy service has expanded its workforce during the pandemic following support from Business Durham.

Fusion for Business, based at Derwentside Business Centre in Consett, has significantly upscaled its operations and rapidly grown from a small start up to a 30-strong team after finding its new office space.

Managed by Business Durham, the economic development arm of Durham County Council, Derwentside Business Centre is a semi-rural development for small and medium sized companies to grow their business.

Despite the uncertainty that the COVID-19 crisis posed on businesses, such as fears of reduced revenue, staff redundancies and even business closure, Fusion for Business has gone from strength to strength.


Over the past six months the company, which has over 50 years’ experience in delivering savings across a multitude of business running costs, has employed more than 30 members of staff in the region, some of whom were made redundant from previous roles due to COVID-19.

In addition to helping Fusion for Business find new premises, Business Durham also helped the firm with funding advice and network opportunities.

Chris Charlton, CEO of Fusion for Business, said: “Business Durham have been a great support to our business. Following initial meetings with the Inward Investment and Opportunities team, we were introduced to a range of contacts within the department and wider networks. From accessing grants and funding to support with product development and finding a suitable property.

“Finding office space in the location we required, of a size to accommodate our expansion and adherence to new social distancing guidelines, has been a challenge to say the least. That said, the team at Business Durham have been on hand every step of the way to support the business, showing a real interest in our success and ensuring they accommodated our requirements from when we started to now.”

Sarah Slaven, Interim Managing Director of Business Durham, said: “During this incredibly challenging time, it has been vital that we have continually offered support and advice to businesses in County Durham to help them survive the coronavirus outbreak.

“All of our teams have been working closely with businesses across the county to help them evolve during the crisis, and Fusion for Business is a great example of how companies can show resilience and adaptability to grow and thrive. We’re delighted to be able to support Fusion for Business’s expansion plans as it has enabled them to protect and increase jobs and support long term economic growth in County Durham.”

Cllr Carl Marshall, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “It is fantastic to see Fusion for Business grow and thrive in this particularly difficult time for businesses.

“Our long-term ambition is to create and preserve a thriving environment in which businesses and investors can grow, while creating and safeguarding more and better jobs. We are keen to support business owners during this rapidly-changing time, ensuring the economy is sustained and resilient in a period of uncertainty to prepare for the future.”