THE NORTHERN Powerhouse Minister visited one of Teesside’s foremost independent research and technology organisations in an unveiling of its new research centre.

Jake Berry MP was joined by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen in a tour of research and technology organisation TWI.

The organisation marked the opening of its new £8m research centre, based at at the neighbouring Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park (TeesAMP), on October 10, which will focus on the inspection and safe use of materials in industrial applications.

The Minister and Mr Houchen were updated on the progress of TeesAMP before given a tour of the site to see ongoing construction work first-hand.

Mr Berry said the site demonstrated the future of manufacturing jobs in the region.

He said: “This is not just going to be a centre of excellence for the Tees Valley, or even the centre of excellence for the North of England. This is a nationally, globally significant centre of excellence which has got the British economy at the forefront of the industry.

“It’s an amazing site, because behind me today we have the foundation of the first industrial revolution, the first blast furnace ever built in the UK, and next to it we have the TWI building which is leading the fourth industrial revolution which is going to create those high-value manufacturing jobs and putting this area at the forefront of this global industry.”

Mr Houchen added: “This project is huge, which is why have put significant millions of pounds into it and for anybody who has been on site in the last six months will have seen it completely transformed.

“It’s about making sure that we get better manufacturing jobs, engineering, innovation and research jobs which are all built around TWI, who have been doing this for decades.

“It’s a good way forward and it helps us maintain our engineering and manufacturing presence on the north of the river by making sure we are producing new and innovative technology, especially as we move forwards towards things like net zero in 2050.”

Middlesbrough MP Simon Clarke praised the unveiling of the centre, and added: “The launch of this fantastic new facility is an illustration of the important role the Tees Valley plays in research and innovation in this field.

“Our area has a strong heritage and skills base in the materials industry and I am hopeful that TeesAMP will continue to attract further investment and high quality jobs for local people. The Minister’s visit today underlines the Government’s commitment to ensuring that the skilled workers of the Tees Valley are able to contribute to world-leading research.”