Ground-breaking plans unveiled this week will put Middlesbrough and the Tees Valley at the vanguard of advanced manufacturing in the UK.
The £22.46m Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park (TAMP) is aimed at high productivity cutting edge manufacturing companies looking for a prime location in one of the UK’s key regeneration areas.
Middlesbrough Council’s executive is expected to give the green light to the ambitious project at a meeting later this month (December 19).
Under the proposals, work on the first phase of TAMP will start early in the new year, creating 180,000 sq ft of high quality accommodation across ten buildings with the potential of up to 1,000 new jobs.
The plans were first put forward in 2013 to create significant research and development opportunities for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Middlesbrough and the wider Tees Valley.
TAMP – located on the historic South West Ironmasters site less than a mile from Middlesbrough city centre – is an 11-hectare site within the Tees Valley Enterprise Zone.
The site is already home to TWI’s £10.8m base, now home to the UK’s first Offshore Wind Validation Centre delivering research and validation services for offshore wind tower manufacturers, as well as for the oil and gas, subsea and other industrial sectors.
Under the latest proposals Middlesbrough Council will put nearly £12.5m towards the total cost, supported by proposed investment from Tees Valley Combined Authority of £7,650,000 towards infrastructure and remediation. A bid for further funding of £2.3m has also been made to the SSI Taskforce.
The investment will deliver an industry-leading technical cluster of manufacturing businesses in a modern, landscaped lay-out, with the possibility of a second phase delivering a further 80,000sq ft of premium accommodation.
Geoff Hogg, managing director of site owners Cleveland Property Investments, said: “This is a hugely exciting opportunity that has the potential to raise Middlesbrough’s profile in this up and coming sector.
“We know from the success of TWI that we have exactly what the industry needs, and I’m confident TAMP will be a location of regional and national importance.
“This development will benefit not just Middlesbrough, but the whole of the Tees Valley.
“There has already been substantial investment interest from companies looking to locate to this site, and that’s before we’ve even started marketing.”
Middlesbrough deputy mayor and executive member for city centre strategy, councillor Charlie Rooney, said: “TAMP is just the latest evidence of the ambition we have for Middlesbrough, and our confidence that high-tech businesses are ready and willing to invest in the town.
“We have already shown that we can deliver jobs and investment in partnership with the private sector, and this is yet another example of that forward-thinking approach.
“We know this is a growth sector, and through the experience of TWI we know we have the location and infrastructure that businesses are crying out for.
“The council will own the 180,000 sq ft first phase, with investment modelled to generate an additional income stream to support the delivery of Council services.
“In time, the aim is that TAMP will be synonymous within the advanced manufacturing sector in the same way Aberdeen is with the oil and gas industries.
“This is a first for this area, and will deliver long-lasting benefits across the Tees Valley in terms of jobs, skills, prosperity and further investment.
“TAMP is a development of national significance which will create long-term employment opportunities and provide a major boost to the local and regional economy.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “The Combined Authority’s proposed investment of £7.5m in Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park represents our firm belief in the area’s appeal to new, creative advanced manufacturing firms.
“TAMP is a monument to, and natural progression of, Tees Valley’s strong industrial history.
“It is a forward-thinking proposal which will increase employment and grow the economy of both Middlesbrough and the entire region.
“This exciting development has the potential to be another jewel in Tees Valley’s crown.”
• A report on the proposed investment in the Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park will be considered at a meeting of Middlesbrough Council’s Executive on Tuesday, December 19.