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Middlesbrough Council today formally approved the creation of an Advanced Manufacturing Park on the site of the former South West Ironmasters Works.
This 32 acre site, alongside the A66 just to the west of the town centre by the Tees Newport Bridge, could soon become a major location for manufacturing companies with a strong emphasis on research and development. The site has the potential to accommodate 500,000 sq ft of space and create up to 1,500 jobs, the majority of which will be highly skilled.
The Council is working in partnership with Wynyard Park Ltd, the developer behind the successful rebirth of the former Samsung site at Wynyard where more than 50 companies are now based, and AED, a company specialising in devising new economic initiatives.
The Advanced Manufacturing Park will incorporate many of the features of a similar development near Sheffield which focuses on the aerospace sector and features the University of Sheffield, Boeing and Rolls-Royce among its occupiers. This development has been highlighted by the Prime Minister as an excellent example of how regional economies should grow. A subsidiary company of Wynyard Park Ltd has provided many of the buildings at the Sheffield AMP.
The Middlesbrough Advanced Manufacturing Park will focus on the energy sector and its supply chain, and in particular the stimulation of activities in the emerging renewable energy sector.
The Partnership is currently finalising a Regional Growth Fund bid which aims to attract financial assistance from central government making the initiative economically viable. Announcements on the first occupiers should be made towards the end of the summer, with construction work commencing next year.
Councillor Charlie Rooney, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “We are delighted to be able to support these proposals, and to be working alongside Wynyard Park Ltd and AED.
“We see this type of development as a real catalyst for economic growth in the area, as it focuses on an engineering and manufacturing sector that is ideally placed to take up the opportunities presented by the low carbon economy.”
Paul Barber, Managing Director of Wynyard Park Ltd, said: “We will combine all the experience we have gathered at the Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Park and our track record here at Wynyard Park to help bring many new, highly-skilled jobs to Middlesbrough.”
Director, AED International Director Joe Anwyl added: “We are presented with the unparalleled opportunity to develop an energy-focused manufacturing and R&D park in Middlesbrough. The site will develop new technologies and manufacturing techniques for the UK’s renewable energy and oil and gas sectors. This development could not only create jobs and attract inward investment but could be an enabler of wider economic development by affirming Middlesbrough's position as one of the UK’s leading locations for manufacturing excellence in the offshore sector.”
Peter Oakley, Associate Director of TWI, said: “TWI is keen to be a founding member of the Middlesbrough AMP. We have been strong advocates of the talented engineers and innovative companies based on Teesside since our initial investment here 20 years ago. We feel that with the right level of central government support our proposed new facility will help these companies improve still further creating much needed engineering jobs in the critical renewables energy sector.”
Professor Cliff Hardcastle of Teesside University said: “The Advanced Manufacturing Park represents a major opportunity to build for the future on the skills of the past. Teesside University is delighted to have the opportunity to use its strengths in research, innovation and training in support of our partners in creating an exciting new future for Middlesbrough and the Tees Valley.”