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NDT.net Issue - 2014-12 - NEWS
NDT.net Issue: 2014-12
Publication: e-Journal of Nondestructive Testing (NDT) ISSN 1435-4934 (NDT.net Journal)

Government funding gives go-ahead for £10 million technology hub at the Teesside Advanced Manufacturing Park

TWI Ltd (The Welding Institute)193, Great Abington, Cambridge, United Kingdom

TWI welcomes the recent announcement that the Government’s Local Growth Deal, secured by the Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, will enable the build of its advanced training and examination facilities for welding and inspection and a new deepwater diving and underwater technologies tank at the Teesside Advanced Manufacturing Park (TAMP). The joint award to TWI and Tees Valley Unlimited will be made as part of the regeneration programme for TAMP – a 13-hectare development zone next to the River Tees, and previously a reclaimed steelworks site.

Support from the Growth Deal for training will combine with enterprise investment from the European Regional Development Fund Competitive Programme 2007-13 and grants from Middlesbrough Council and the Growing Places Fund to deliver to the region an integrated technology hub to meet the immediate engineering needs of local energy companies. The new TWI Technology Centre (North East) will offer state-of-the-art training in welding, inspection, non-destructive testing and underwater techniques alongside full research and consultancy services.

The £10 million programme will include the establishment of the UK’s first Offshore Wind Validation Centre to deliver research and validation services for offshore wind tower manufacturers as well as for the oil and gas, subsea and other industrial sectors. The development will also allow TWI to expand its Low Carbon Energy Manufacturing Technology Centre, housing the latest technologies for reduced pressure electron beam welding, tandem twin wire submerged arc welding, SurfiSculpt, electron beam texturing, composites and microwave drying and coatings.

TWI is expected to move into the new premises in early 2016.

Cllr Charlie Rooney, Executive Member for Regeneration at Middlesbrough Council said,

‘Middlesbrough Council and TWI have worked hard to secure this funding and I look forward to seeing the new training and research facility being developed on TAMP. This facility will help to kickstart TAMP and promote the Tees Valley's engineering and manufacturing sector.’

Christoph Wiesner, Chief Executive at TWI, said,

‘We welcome this latest announcement of government funding and look forward to working with Middlesbrough Council and Tees Valley Unlimited to realise the TWI Technology Centre at TAMP. The unique facility will ensure industry has access to the training and examinations necessary to develop skills and foster strong economic growth, and allow us work more closely with new and existing businesses to develop advanced fabrication technologies for the energy sector.’

The TWI Technology Centre (North East) will replace TWI’s existing laboratories at Riverside Park, where the company first set up a base in 1992. The new building will have a floorspace of 3700 square metres approx. and features an optimised diving and underwater technologies tank – the largest in Europe.

Activities at the Centre will complement those at TWI headquarters at Granta Park, Cambridge – which includes the National Structural Integrity Research Centre and the recently announced engineering test centre at the former RAF Alconbury – and its regional offices in Rotherham, Port Talbot and Aberdeen.

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