A NEW small and medium-sized enterprise support hub, which will help to inspire the start-up, scale-up and expansion ambitions of entrepreneurs across the region, has opened in Ponteland.

The SME Centre of Excellence, established by entrepreneur Ammar Mirza, will provide a full spectrum of services to growing businesses to enable them to achieve their full potential.

The centre, on Ponteland’s Main Street, was opened by Coun. Peter Jackson, leader of Northumberland County Council, and has been hailed as having a key role to play in the ongoing development of the Northern Powerhouse, pledging to provide unrivalled, tailored and ongoing support to SMEs across the North-East.

The facility offers practical support in areas including accountancy, legal, HR, websites and digital marketing.

Ammar was awarded a CBE in 2014 for his work to support and enhance the North-East business community.

He said: “This really is a fantastic place to do business, and through the opening of the SME Centre of Excellence, we hope to inspire the creation and growth of many more ambitious and successful ventures.

Coun. Peter Jackson, added: “These are very exciting times for Northumberland as one of the most diverse counties where we have bustling centres and rural areas – our specialisms range from pharma, off-shore to tourism and hospitality.

“We see the SME Centre as a great addition to the support on offer to local, national and international businesses.”