A £2.5m offshore survival training centre, which will train thousands of offshore workers how to survive in an emergency at sea, has opened its doors for business.

The new world-class 20,000 sq ft centre has been developed by AIS Training in response to customer demand from the booming energy and renewable industries.

Located on the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate, in North Shields, the centre sits alongside AIS Training’s existing training centres aimed at workers in the oil and gas, wind, maritime and heavy industry sectors.

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Featuring facilities including a 4.5 metre deep environmental pool, fire training centre, Norwegian escape chute and lifeboat and davit system, the centre has been designed to provide a lifelike setting where workers will learn survival techniques for emergency scenarios such as a helicopter ditching at sea, sea survival, escaping from a smoke filled environment and evacuating via a lifeboat.

The centre also includes classrooms, changing facilities, a restaurant and meeting rooms.

A total of 25 new jobs have been initially created as a result of the new facility and 25 additional jobs will be created within 18 months bringing the total number of AIS employees to more than 100. The company also expects this new facility and additional training packages to help double its existing turnover by the end of 2015.

AIS secured a £1.1m funding from HSBC’s Tyne and Wear Commercial Centre and a £250,000 Let’s Grow grant from the Regional Growth Fund to support the development .