Northern Powerhouse minister unveils £8million materials facility

Northern Powerhouse Minister Rt Hon Jake Berry MP has unveiled a new project for a £8million technology centre in Middlesbrough for world-leading research organisation TWI. 

The minister was joined by Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen and TWI’s Director of Innovation and Skills Prof Tat-Hean Gan.  

It will build on the world-class expertise and industrial knowledge within TWI and provide specialist equipment and laboratory space to support regional SMEs and other companies to develop, validate and commercialise new inspection technologies and apply advanced inspection techniques to new applications. 

The new research facility will be based at the neighbouring Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park (TeesAMP) and will focus on the inspection and safe use of materials in industrial applications. It will also carry out the materials testing and research to underpin this work and to develop new technologies to build a sustainable regional research resource. 

The project is receiving £4,054,821 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund, with £500,000 from the Tees Valley mayor and Combined Authority from the Local Growth Fund allocation, and the rest of the project funded by private sector contributions. 

The Northern Powerhouse Minister and Mayor Houchen also received an update on the progress of TeesAMP before being given a tour of the site where they saw the ongoing construction work first-hand. 

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Rt Hon Jake Berry MP said: “Government investment is flowing into the area and I have seen for myself how the Tees Valley Mayor and local leaders are using this money to boost the economy and support world-class centres for advanced manufacturing, innovation and research.  

“From our £450million Tees Valley Devolution Deal, to each borough receiving a generous share of the new £3.6 billion Towns Fund, the Government is backing this region to be at the forefront of a thriving Northern Powerhouse as we level up every part of the UK.” 

Mayor Houchen said: “I’m delighted to be helping launch this brilliant new facility for TWI. TWI is a world-class organisation that contributes significantly to the Tees Valley’s formidable reputation for research and innovation.  

“TeesAMP is a development of national significance that will deliver long-lasting benefits in terms of jobs, skills, prosperity and further investment. It’s fantastic TWI are continuing to expand here, showing commitment to TeesAMP, the region and to our fantastic advanced manufacturing SMEs central to our success.”  

Prof Tat-Hean Gan said: “We are delighted to be able to announce this project for the expansion of our facilities here in the Tees Valley. The research and innovation that we’re able to carry out here is already world-leading and that’s down to the knowledge and highly skilled workforce available to us. The investment in our new facility will allow us to expand further, creating more high value research led jobs.”