National Horizons Centre to drive growth in STEM industries

Kimberley Workman
The Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth has launched construction work on a new £22.3m research and training facility to drive growth in the bioscience industry.

The National Horizons Centre, being project managed by SNC-Lavalin’s Faithful+Gould business on behalf of Teesside University, will concentrate on developing the technical, innovation and management skills needed for the sector to generate jobs and wealth in Tees Valley and the UK.

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, Jake Berry, joined Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and Teesside University vice-chancellor and chief executive Professor Paul Croney to mark the start of the build programme, due to be completed in spring 2019.

The National Horizons Centre at Central Park in Darlington will play a key part in driving STEM skills and economic growth in the Tees Valley, through industry-focused education and training and collaborative research and innovation.

It has been financially supported by the Local Growth Fund, via the Tees Valley Combined Authority, and the European Regional Development Fund. The Local Growth Fund contribution of £17.5m represents the single biggest investment by the fund in the Tees Valley.

Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, Jake Berry, said: “I was delighted to be here celebrating the start of the build of the National Horizons Centre, which has received £17.5m government investment.

“This is the Northern Powerhouse in action because this centre will not only be of regional importance but will be a nationally significant asset too.

“It will train our young people to become the scientists of the future and continue to drive forward the Tees Valley as a leader in research, science and innovation in the UK and the world.”

The £22.3m investment in the National Horizons Centre is part of Teesside University’s ambitious campus masterplan, which will see £300m spent over the next 10 years to provide an outstanding student and learning experience.

Professor Croney said: “The National Horizons Centre is the result of significant work with industry and our partners, to identify how best the bioscience sector can reach its full potential through provision of the right education, training and collaborative innovation.

“Our investment in The National Horizons Centre is an example of this in action. It will play a vital role, providing first-class facilities and programmes to grow knowledge and research in sectors that are set to transform the UK economy.”

Andrew Rapmund, Faithful+Gould’s project management lead for the centre, said: “We are honoured to be a pivotal part of this significant project for both the Tees Valley region and the bioscience sector across the UK.

“The centre will include a blend of teaching, learning and collaboration spaces, together with hi-tech laboratories and a state-of-the-art computing suite, helping young people to develop essential STEM skills.

“And, it will act as a bridge between university learning and organisations such as the Centre for Process Innovation, known for nurturing next generation healthcare treatments at its £38m National Biologics Centre in Darlington, which Faithful+Gould are also involved in.”

You can take a virtual tour of the new National Horizons Centre here.

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