Darlington skills centre gets green light

14 Jul 2014

Plans for a state-of the-art centre for skills, leadership and innovation in emerging technology sectors have been given the green light by Government. The Darlington-based National Horizons Centre (NHC) is a partnership between Teesside University, the Centre for Process Innovation, Darlington College, Darlington Borough Council and C‑STATE, the Centre for Subsea Technology Awareness Training and Education.

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The NHC proposals, which have been earmarked for Local Growth Fund support, aim to help develop the industries which are set to transform the UK economy, including biologics, industrial biotechnology, subsea engineering and digital.

They will focus on advanced, integrated design, production and production support processes and on the innovation and management skills needed to embed them – with the creation of 2,600 jobs and 6,000 training places.

The proposed NHC will complement the new national business hub which is being created at Teesside University’s Darlington campus.

The new national business hub will see the university relocate key personnel from its business services team as well as selected academic staff to the flagship £13 million campus to provide a front door’ for business offering every organisation from SMEs to multinational blue-chip companies a single point of contact to access all R&D, training and professional education support.

Professor Graham Henderson, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Teesside University, OBE DL, said: We are pleased that the vision to create a National Horizons Centre in Darlington, in proximity to our emerging new business and enterprise services hub, has been identified as a priority for external investment by the Local Enterprise Partnership. The University will continue to work with partners in seeking to develop this exciting project for the Tees Valley.”

Dr Chris Dowle, Director at CPI, said: We are delighted to be part of this collaborative partnership to deliver skills and workforce development in key areas of manufacturing for the bioeconomy and the future prosperity of the UK”.

Tim Grant, Principal of Darlington College said: This is brilliant news for skills in the North East. Through the National Horizons Centre, the College has plans to deliver cutting edge training in the Subsea engineering and Biopharmaceutical industries from age 16 onwards.”

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