Teeside University has welcomed its latest flagship building, which has been completed as part of a new UK centre of excellence for biosciences set to open later this year. The new National Horizons Centre, the University’s research, teaching and training facility, was delivered by Wates Construction over a year-long build programme.
The £22.3 million building will sit at the heart of a cluster of excellence on Darlington’s Central Park alongside the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre and the University’s Centre for Professional and Executive Development.
At peak construction periods, Wates’ team stood at 125 site operatives with extensive opportunities for training and employment for local people also created. On-site training has also included the contractor’s industry leading Building Futures course, which is designed to introduce local jobseekers to careers in construction. The course at the National Horizons Centre led to long-term employment for 50% of candidates with Wates and its supply chain.
“The new National Horizons Centre is one of the biggest investments we have made so far. Our rich history of innovation, research and development is set to continue thanks to this state-of-the-art facility in Darlington. Just a year ago, I was stood in an empty field and we were breaking ground on this world-class biosciences research facility – and now we’re seeing the results. I’m also delighted to see that local businesses and local apprentices have benefited from the construction phase,” said Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen.
“The new economy will be built on biologics and digital – key sectors we need to support. This massive £17.5million commitment of ours is testament to the importance we have placed on securing jobs for the future,” he added.
A programme of fit-out works are now scheduled to take place ahead of the reveal of the new campus later this year.