A NEW centre to support emerging industries, which have the potential to create thousands of North-East jobs, has been given the go ahead.

The Darlington-based National Horizons Centre (NHC) is a partnership between Teesside University, the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), Darlington College, Darlington Borough Council and C-STATE, the Centre for Subsea Technology Awareness Training and Education.

The NHC proposals, which have been pledged cash support from the Government's Local Growth Fund support following a bid from Tees Valley Unlimited, the area's Local Enterprise Partnership, aim to help develop industries, including biologics, industrial biotechnology, subsea engineering and digital, by ensuring they have the skilled staff and facilities to test breakthrough innovations.

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

Professor Graham Henderson, the vice-chancellor and chief executive of Teesside University, 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 bio-economy 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."

The new national business hub will see the university relocate key personnel from its business services team in Middlesbrough as well as selected academic staff to the £13m Darlington campus to provide business from SMEs to multinationals a single point of contact to access all research and development, training and professional education support.