A new £2 million training and research centre at the Port of Blyth will be opened next week by the Duchess of Northumberland.
The launch will mark the next phase of the Blyth Education and Community Hub (BEACH), a development to regenerate the Blyth coastline.
The first stage delivered a maritime heritage centre, an Engineering and Marine Science base for Newcastle University along with a new facility for the training and community outreach charity, Blyth Tall Ship.
Now, the base will allow Port of Blyth’s training subsidiary Port Training Services to develop its offering of NVQ’s and plant training, while enhancing its delivery of apprenticeships and community engagement through a schools partnership.
Newcastle University’s Emerson Cavitation Tunnel Laboratory, situated at the centre, will offer an environment for the study of propulsion, water turbine, coating technology, ice research and a series other niche areas of research.
Northumberland College’s wind turbine technician training facility is to be backed and certificated by international renewable energy training and certification body BZEE.
This latest phase of the hub has attracted significant funding from the Coastal Communities Fund, North East LEP and Sport England, whilst all the partners have contributed significantly to the total budget for the scheme.
Martin Lawlor, Chief Executive of Port of Blyth, commented: “We’re delighted to be opening phase two on the back of a record year at the Port.
“The significant benefits of the project reflect the commitment that the Port and all partners in the development have to training, research and opportunities for the community”.