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Industrial heritage inspires Port of Middlesbrough’s new state-of-the-art facility

AV Dawson, owner and operator of Port of Middlesbrough, unveiled its state-of-the-art head office in an exclusive event for colleagues.

The 24,000 sq ft facility, named The Staiths, celebrates both heritage and the future of the port and town as the next chapter of the firm’s expansion.

The name originates from the coal staiths at the old Port Darlington, which was the original name of the site now known as Port of Middlesbrough.

The staiths, which were used for shipping coal from the port, were officially opened by the Stockton and Darlington Railway Company over 190 years ago.

By the early 1830’s, Middlesbrough had become a thriving business town, due to the improvements in the river
and the extension of the Stockton and Darlington railway to the town.

Port Darlington had become known as Port of Middlesbrough – a name that was brought back to life on in September 2020 when AV Dawson rebranded its site.

The brand new office development will help put Port of Middlesbrough back on the map, offering a relaxed and modern alternative to a traditional office environment, alongside high spec, plug-and-play conferencing facilities.

The impressive three-story building, which forms part of the business’ three year port masterplan of infrastructure investment, is also home to Cockfield Knight – the ships agency business within the AV Dawson Group – and Italian cable manufacturing giant Prysmian Group.

Inside the building you will find four impressive meeting rooms and conference spaces, all named after previous AV Dawson sites in Middlesbrough – Emmerson Street, Newport Road and Lloyd Street.

One of the meeting rooms features a stunning 7.2 sqm, hand-painted mural showcasing the history of AV Dawson and the wider Teesside landscape.

Commissioned by local artist, Philip J. Boville, the mural took a total of 182 hours to complete.

The remarkable building also includes a gym, a fitness studio, music room and
even a bar.

And you can step back in time and learn about the history of the business with the life-size timeline displayed in the entrance and on the landing walls of each floor.

Since opening, Port of Middlesbrough’s facilities have been used by a number of local companies and organisations.

The rooftop terrace provides the opportunity to work, meet and network outdoors, allowing colleagues and guests to soak up views of the Tees region and beyond.

Not only does the building offer panoramic views of the Tees Valley landscape, including Roseberry Topping and the iconic Transporter Bridge, it also offers some history, too, as it’s built on the exact location of one of the rail lines that fed the coal staiths.

Sandstone was found when digging the foundations for the new building, some of which has been used in the landscaping around the new building.

AV Dawson’s managing director, Gary Dawson, openly encourages the community, schools and charities to use the facility, hoping that while helping the local area it will also be an opportunity to make people more aware of the vibrant shipping industry in Teesside.

Since the head office opened a range of different community groups and organisations have already utilised the conferencing and meeting facilities including the Institute of Directors (IoD), North East Automotive Alliance, Tees Valley Business Club, Clive Owen Accountants and SPARK Tees Valley.

“We used AV Dawson’s conferencing facilities at the Port of Middlesbrough for a trade group meeting. “The venue was well equipped, spacious and exceptionally comfortable for our guests. "The service provided was outstanding, from the booking process through to the catering and hosting on the day. We will be sure to return to this venue sometime in the future.”

Laura Gage, North East Automotive Alliance marketing and PR manager.

“The conference facilities at AV Dawson are exceptional, the location and view of the local area, river and industry are breath-taking. “Knowing that you will be looked after and supported is a huge factor in booking a conference venue and AV Dawson gets this absolutely right."

Andrew Stogdale, managing director of SPARK Tees Valley.

Check out the editorial written by Tees Business, here.

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