We're based on Gateshead's Follingsby Park - a modern industrial estate designed around occupier requirements for ease of access and maximum business potential.
Custom-built in 1996, Unit 1, Follingsby Park was the very first unit on the estate that now plays host to over 30 leading North East businesses. We have occupied that very unit from the day it opened its doors fifteen years ago this August.
We now occupy three units on Follingsby Park (1, 1A and 4) totalling over 170,000 square feet. The estate is clean and quiet, easily accessible and has 24/7 on-site security in addition to Spark's own fully-recorded CCTV facilities and in-house security team.
WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE NORTH EAST?
We're proud of our North East heritage - who isn't proud of their roots? But we don't just love the North East because we live here - our passion does hold some business resonance too...
Not only was internet home shopping born in Gateshead, but the North East accent is reported to be one of the most popular regional dialects in the UK when it comes to dealing with call centres (see 'further reading' to the right). Furthermore, Spark is based on one of the most easily accessible business estates in the area, being minutes from the A19 and A1 motorways with easy avoidance of busy city centre traffic.
Business aside, the North East is a culturally diverse arts and popular entertainment centre that attracts millions of global visitors every year. An area once typified by its industrial skyline and poverty-stricken reputation, Gateshead now welcomes its visitors with open arms as its iconic and world-famous Angel of the North sculpture overlooks the A1 with a majestic nod to the now modern and progressive region it has places itself at the very heart of.
Just a mile from its 'twin' city of Newcastle - still one of the UK's most popular places to paint the town red - Gateshead is also home to two of the most recent attractions to become synonymous with the North East. In just a few short years, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and The Sage Gateshead transformed the town's once wastefully neglected riverside into a busy cultural hub, once described by Tony Blair as "one of the best places in Europe".
Linked by the stunning Millennium Bridge, the world's first and only tilting bridge, the Gateshead and Newcastle Quaysides stride the River Tyne face to face and between them have become one of the places to be to enjoy an evening of food, drink and entertainment.
Just a stone's throw from the vibrant riverside centre of NewcastleGateshead, as the so-called twin cities became known in 2008, are the two fantastic shopping and leisure centres, Newcastle's Eldon Square and Gateshead's Metrocentre. Both recently expanded, they now combine over 3.5 million square feet of shops, restaurants, bars, cafes, cinemas (including the North East's first IMAX 3D screens), bowling alleys, bingo halls, gaming arcades, fitness centres, dental practices - you name it!
And lest we forget... Spark may be technically based in Gateshead, but we're situated pretty much central to four other major North East towns and cities - Sunderland, South Shields, Washington and Durham. Many of our staff hail from these places, all of which boast further local visitor attractions and places of interest, including:
- Penshaw Monument
- Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens
- The Glass Centre
- Mowbray Park
- Sunderland Aircraft Museum
- Durham Cathedral and Castle
- Durham University
- Beamish Museum