Tees Valley Combined Authority has awarded £500,000 to help TWI expand its research and testing operations in Tees Valley.
The Middlesbrough-based centre is one of the world’s foremost independent research and technology organisations, with expertise in materials-joining and engineering processes.
The funding will help the business alter its existing engineering facility at Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park (TeesAmp), expand its existing operations and develop a non-destructive testing (NDT) research centre, where materials can be tested for their structural safety.
A new research activity will focus on future NDT technologies and act as a growth hub for the research group outside of their Cambridge base.
The centre will be established using a number of collaborative projects, ensuring it can staff up rapidly and work from the outset with companies from across the world.
Cash will support additional staff, equipment and lab space and establish test facilities to evaluate the effect of hydrogen on materials performance.
New technology will be spun out of the new centre, either into new start-ups or into existing local companies.
The centre will bring collaborative projects worth more than £3m to the Tees Valley.
Mayor Ben Houchen said: “TWI is a world-class research centre and it’s fantastic that they’re expanding their activities in the Tees Valley.
“The region’s engineering reputation is second to none, and this development will provide an opportunity to enhance economic growth and drive forward skilled employment opportunities in the area.
“TeesAMP will deliver long-lasting benefits in terms of jobs, skills, prosperity and further investment. TWI’s proposals form a key part of the overall project.”
Chris Beck, TWI’s strategic funding manager, said: “This funding represents a vital step forward in TWI’s expansion plans and helps us reaffirm our commitment to the region and TeesAmp.
“We have our eyes on significant growth in the coming years but, in the short term, adapting our current facility will allow us to take on further staff and contribute even more to the Tees Valley economy.”
Middlesbrough mayor Dave Budd said: “This is another good-news development for TeesAmp, hugely benefitting Middlesbrough and the wider Tees Valley and sowing the seeds of future success.
“I’m delighted TWI will be a continued and ever-growing presence in our area and look forward to hearing about its next steps.”