PD Ports, owner and operator of Teesport, has entered into an agreement with Wentworth Clean Power Limited (WCP) to bring a £230 million, state-of-the-art, waste-to-energy project to Teesside.

WCP, developers of advanced waste-to-energy projects in the UK, together with its partners, will develop, finance and deliver the project on Dockside Road, to the south of Teesport Commerce Park.

The advanced project, which will be named the Teesport Renewable Energy Centre, will sit on a 9-acre footprint and create between 250-300 full time jobs during construction, with a further 40 permanent jobs created when the plant becomes operational – which is expected to be in the second half of 2024.

The sustainable plant will utilise a variety of waste streams, characterised by rigorous environmental credentials, and employ proven technologies from first-class providers, positioning PD Ports, and the Tees Valley, at the forefront of the clean energy sector.

Michael McConnell, PD Ports Group Property Director, said, “We are delighted to have signed this agreement to bring such a large and important investment to the Tees Valley and look forward to working with WCP and its partners to progress the project and bring the waste-to-energy plant to fruition.

“This huge private investment from outside of the UK further demonstrates our trusted and proven track record when it comes to delivering large-scale projects, investments and real jobs to the region, whilst reinforcing our commitment to environmentally sustainable practices.”

The plant, when complete, will have an annual capacity of 300,000 tonnes of feedstock and deliver an electrical output of 30 megawatts – enough to power up to 27,000 homes with the potential to provide decentralise energy to existing and planned industrial users via combined heat and power.

Philip Spanos, CEO of WCP, commented, “WCP is truly delighted to enter into this partnership with PD Ports for the development of such an exciting project on their land.

“PD Ports is an extremely supportive, mature and experienced landowner, who fully understand the complexities of developing such projects.

“WCP looks forward to playing its role, alongside PD Ports and local stakeholders, in contributing to the realisation of the immense potential of the Tees Valley as host to this project and the pool of highly skilled labour for its construction and operation.

“We also hope, through the guidance of Redcar and Cleveland Council as the Local Planning Authority, to contribute actively to the local area.”

James Ramsbotham, Chief Executive of the North East Chamber of Commerce, said, “This announcement is such welcome news on many levels. Attracting such investment at this time of global crisis is a testament to the strength of the region and these jobs are so important to our community.

“Our collective commitment towards Net Zero remain a top priority and this project will bring us closer to delivering a more sustainable and greener economy for the future. We hugely congratulate PD Ports and everyone involved with this development – it will be a huge morale boost for our area.”

The next steps for the project is to hold discussions with Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, the local Planning Authority, to formulate, prepare and submit a full application for consideration so that construction can commence.

Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, Mary Lanigan, said, “This is a major investment proposal which has the potential to bring the kind of high quality jobs we need, subject to planning approval. We have a world-class port in our borough and it is wonderful to see its owners, PD Ports, securing further inward investment for our region.

“I’d like to congratulate both WCP and PD Ports and, as a very business-friendly authority, we look forward to continuing to work with everyone concerned.”

Throughout negotiations, which have taken place over the last 18 months, PD Ports was advised by Jacksons Law Firm whilst WCP was advised by Slater Heelis LLP, Manchester.

A major funding boost is set to breathe new life into Middlesbrough’s Historic Quarter.

Grants will be up for grabs to help with repairs and restoration works to businesses and other premises.

The quarter was designated a Conservation Area in 1989 and centres around the Grade II-listed railway station, extending north towards Middlehaven and south towards the town centre.

The area is now set to benefit from a key funding injection through Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone fund.

Middlesbrough Council’s successful bid was chosen from more than 200 expressions of interest from across England.

High Street Heritage Action Zone status will see the Historic Quarter become the focus of a programme of improvements designed to reinvigorate the area and drive investment.

The programme is funded by Historic England (£985,880), Middlesbrough Council (£1 million) and will leverage third party funding.

Kicking off immediately and running until 2024, it will offer property improvement grants to eligible privately-owned premises, to assist with building repairs and restoration.

It will also provide enhancements to Exchange Square and Zetland Road, such as upgrades to hard surfacing, new street furniture, improved street lighting and the introduction of new trees.

A range of community and cultural activities will reanimate the area and increase footfall.

Once the commercial centre of Middlesbrough’s trade boom in the second half of the 19th century, the Historic Quarter has suffered in recent years through lack of investment and high levels of empty properties.

The programme of improvements has been designed to stimulate investment and make the area a more engaging and vibrant place to be.

Heritage Unlocked founder Dr Tosh Warwick, who chairs the HAZ Community Steering Group, said: “The Historic England Heritage Action Zone will bring new life to an important part of Middlesbrough’s heritage.

“By reinvigorating the Historic Quarter all parts of the community can discover, engage with and enjoy our town’s heritage, learn more about our past and benefit from regeneration at the heart of our town.”

Councillor Mieka Smiles, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive member for Culture & Communities, said: “The Historic Quarter is the main thoroughfare between the town centre and the train station, and is often the first thing people see when visiting our town.

“The area has huge potential, but it needs significant investment to revitalise the listed Victorian buildings and make them fit for modern purposes.

“The funding through Historic England allows us to assist building owners to deliver much-needed improvements, as well as enhancing surrounding public areas to create a place where people will want to visit and work in.”

For more information, visit the Middlesbrough High Street Heritage Action Zone page.

Work officially started today on the latest phase of Middlesbrough’s ambitious Boho campus.

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston was joined on site by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and Partnerships and Business Development Director Amanda Grimbleby of M-AR Off Site to get construction on Boho 8 under way.

The £2.3 million project – backed by Local Growth Fund funding from the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority – builds on the hugely successful Boho quarter, and is the first development within Middlesbrough’s Digital City project.

The bespoke modular units will provide additional space for rapidly expanding companies in Boho 1 and Boho 5, as well as attracting new digital and creative businesses to the area.

The four one-to-three storey bespoke designed modular cantilevered buildings range from 1,000 to 3,000 sq ft and will be delivered by main contractor M-AR Off Site, with completion due in winter.

The development to the rear of Boho 1 will be complemented by modern contemporary external communal space with a high street feel.

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “Middlesbrough is firmly on track to becoming the digital city of the UK, and Boho 8 is another leap towards that ambition.

“It’s another step in a £250 million investment in this flourishing sector which is already putting Middlesbrough on the map nationally and internationally.

“Boho is a key digital and creative hotspot, and it symbolises the sort of aspiration and ambition that will deliver jobs and prosperity for many years to come.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Our fantastic digital businesses are continuing to go from strength to strength. 

“As we start recovering from the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus this development will support my plan for jobs by bringing new, world-leading companies to the region and helping home-grown talent grow and thrive.  

“I’m delighted to be supporting Mayor Preston’s vision to see Middlesbrough become the UK’s digital powerhouse and there’s plenty more to come for this inspiring and important scheme.”

Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government Simon Clarke MP said: “I am delighted we have reached the latest milestone of this ambitious project which will cement Middlesbrough’s growing reputation as a thriving hub for the digital sector – backed by up to £2million in Government funding through the Local Growth Fund.

“This funding will give vital support to the Digital City project, attracting more jobs into the area, helping Middlesbrough’s digital and creative sectors to grow and ensuring the area continues to be a great place to live, work and study.”

M-AR Off Site Partnerships and Business Development Director Amanda Grimbleby said: “We are proud to be able to deliver this exciting and prestigious ‘Modern Methods of Construction’ project at Boho in collaboration with Middlesbrough Council.

“Whilst we start on site here today in Middlesbrough, we also commence the off site construction simultaneously in our factory in preparation to deliver 18 individual lorry loads of 49m2 modules to the site at the end of September with completion of the project in winter.

“This just demonstrates the speed in which off site construction can accelerate the delivery of such projects and this has all been able to happen during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The innovative design will provide light, bright and inspiring office spaces for ambitious and creative digital businesses in the region and being part of making this happen is inspiring in itself”.

Middlesbrough’s Tees Advanced Manufacturing Park (TeesAMP) is proving a real hit with businesses looking for state-of-the art accommodation.

The site reached practical completion at the beginning of June, and just a month after opening its doors potential occupiers are flocking in.

A total of 45,000 sq ft – 25% of the space available in the first phase of the development – has been leased, while a contract pending with an additional business would see the figure rise to 50%.

One business, which is yet to be named, is expanding into Middlesbrough and has taken two units totalling 30,000 sq ft – further details are expected to be released in coming months.

TeesAMP is poised to become a focal point for innovation and advanced engineering in the North East, and is a significant development for the region’s already renowned advanced manufacturing sector.

The first phase of the development offers 180,000 sq ft of high specification business accommodation, which has been led by developer Chaloner Group and constructed predominantly by a North East-based supply chain, including main contractor Robertson North East and Stockton steel fabricators Nationwide Structures.

The second phase of the development will provide flexible building opportunities to further attract innovative manufacturing companies to the region.

Geoff Hogg, Chief Executive of Chaloner Group, said: “The interest in TeesAMP from the manufacturing sector has been considerable, and we’re delighted to see a significant proportion of the site leased in such a short period of time.

“We’re confident that 70% of the space will be leased in the near future, at which point we can begin on phase two of the development.”

Stephen Brown, Senior Partner at agents Dodds Brown, said: “This is a fantastic development and proof that if you provide quality accommodation in a well-located environment, you will attract investment and create quality new jobs.”

Richard Scott, Partner at agents Cushman and Wakefield: “The completion of these deals during lockdown underlines the quality of the units and strength of location, and highlights the continuing strength of the industrial sector in Teesside.”

Councillor Ashley Waters, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive member for Regeneration, said: “TeesAMP is a vibrant symbol of Middlesbrough’s drive and ambition, not just for the town but for the whole area.

“It’s a fantastic offer for businesses, and the proof of that is the speed at which the units are being snapped up.

“It’s great news for Middlesbrough, and will prove a terrific catalyst to creating jobs and long-term prosperity.”

TeesAMP has been funded by £12.5 million from Middlesbrough Council, £7.65 million from TVCA and £2.3 million from the SSI Taskforce, the body set up to support regeneration after the closure of the SSI steelworks, and substantial private investment.

To enquire about available units, please contact one of TeesAMP’s agents:

Stephen Brown:

+44(0)1642 244 130

+44(0)7973 732 260

s.brown@doddsbrown.co.uk

Richard Scott:

+44(0)1912 233 5711

+44(0)7787 697 757

richard.scott@cushwake.com

A first look behind the scenes of a £2m expansion of Middlesbrough College’s STEM training centre has been revealed.

Construction is already underway to prepare a new Higher Education department that will support the College’s delivery of higher level technical training through the Institute of Technology, announced in June.

And the College will welcome back Professor Brian Cox to lead the opening.

Computer generated images show how 11,800 sq ft of teaching space, IT facilities, learning resource centre and staff offices will be added to the STEM centre at the College’s Middlehaven campus.

The new facilities are expected to be completed next year, ready to welcome learners studying programmes that will prepare them for careers in the engineering, manufacturing and the digital sectors.

Zoe Lewis, principal and chief executive of Middlesbrough College, said: “Investment in our industry-leading campus means we can provide the best learning experiences for students.

“We’re excited to open this latest extension to the STEM training centre in preparation for our delivery of even more technical courses.

“Our role in the Institute of Technology, and as the only further education provider in the Tees Valley to deliver cutting edge T Levels, is all about providing high quality routes into work for young people and delivering the skills that employers need for the future.

“Come September, we’ll be inviting Tees Valley businesses to tour our facilities, talk with our expert staff and learn more about the opportunities available to them.”

The STEM centre, which was opened in September 2015 by celebrity physicist and science champion Professor Brian Cox, already hosts a range of real-life industry environments including a process hall, advanced manufacturing space and logistics centre.

Students benefit from these simulated industry sites – preparing them for jobs beyond college.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has today (4 August) announced that £17.4million of Government funding will help to drive forward three projects each helping to transform Tees Valley, secure investment and create jobs. 

The Government’s Getting Building Fund is investing in three schemes in the region, which aim to be completed by the end of March 2022. 

A new gateway entrance for Teesworks in Redcar will receive £4.1million of funding. Teesworks was last week unveiled as the new name and brand for the 4,500-acre South Tees Development Corporation. At the launch, Mayor Houchen announced that 19 demolition projects will start on site over the next 12 months, generating nearly 400 jobs and with a total investment of almost £400million.  

The entrance will include dedicated induction, training and development spaces, and will accelerate investment into the wider site and help realise its ambition as the UK’s largest industrial zone. 

A total of £9.65million has also been earmarked through the Fund towards the Mayor’s £35million redevelopment of Middlesbrough station. This includes part-funding the extension of an existing platform to allow it to accommodate longer trains, alongside the construction of commercial floorspace. 

And a further £3.65million has been allocated to the second phase of development of Darlington’s Central Park, home to CPI’s National Biologics and Manufacturing Centre, and Teesside University’s National Horizons Centre – both centres of excellence in the biologics and life sciences sector. This will create 2,370sq m of high-quality business accommodation including lab and office space, resulting in the creation of 150 new jobs. 

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “These aren’t pie-in-the-sky projects. The very reason I’ve secured this £17.4million funding is because these schemes are ready to go, and will create a huge and direct impact across our region. 

“As we seek to rebuild our economy following the coronavirus pandemic, and also help lead the way for the rest of the UK, we need to unlock these projects and capitalise on new opportunities quicker than ever, and this cash will give us the means to do that.  

“Just days after I launched Teesworks on our former steelworks site in Redcar, we’ve secured more Government investment to start developing it – a high-quality entrance space that will wow investors from across the world. We’ve got a new name, and this will give us a new start. 

“Funding for the Middlesbrough station redevelopment will sit alongside the £35million already pledged to the scheme, increasing the frequency of services and train routes as a key part of my plan for jobs. It is crucial to the work to introduce the first services between London and Middlesbrough in decades.  

“Organisations operating in the vital field of life sciences and biologics are already based in Darlington’s Central Park. With this investment we can unlock more top-quality workspace to attract further biopharmaceutical businesses and well-paid jobs.”  

Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government Simon Clarke MP said: “We want to build back better to fuel a green economic recovery across the country by investing in infrastructure, creating jobs and building the homes people need.  

“That is why, we are investing £64.4m in shovel-ready projects in the North East through our £900 million Getting Building Fund. This funding will unlock homes, create new jobs and deliver investment in commercial and green spaces and a much-needed boost to the local economy.” 

A new office development which aims to revitalise Middlesbrough’s town centre has been nominated for a third award.

Centre Square has been shortlisted as Building Project of the Year in the Constructing Excellence North East Awards 2020.

Constructing Excellence North East (CENE) was due to announce the winners of 14 categories at its awards ceremony on 12 June, but that has been re-scheduled for 9 October because of the coronavirus crisis.

Last month both of Centre Square’s buildings were nominated in the inaugural Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Social Impact Awards which recognise the built environment’s “positive and transformational contribution to society”.

Centre Square was also nominated for the British Council of Offices’ best Commercial Workplace Award by the British Council for Offices (BCO).

RICS is going ahead with a digital ceremony on 1 May but the BCO has delayed its event until the Autumn.

Mark Ashall – of Ashall Projects, the developer behind Centre Square – said recognition by Constructing Excellence North East was welcome news for everybody involved in the project, especially during these difficult times.

With negotiations with potential occupiers at an advanced stage, Mr Ashall said: “We expect to be announcing more good news soon.”

He added: “The aim of the Centre Square development was to create buildings which have a stunning visual impact, but also provide a high-quality working environment that is adaptable, energy and space efficient and sustainable,” he said. “Employees are a business’ greatest asset – and that was our starting point.”

The Centre Square project was launched after the think-tank Centre for Cities concluded that Middlesbrough town centre needed Grade A offices to attract large companies offering well-paid jobs which, in turn, would have a beneficial impact on the local economy.

In July Two Centre Square, a three-storey 35,000 sq ft office building, was completed. One Centre Square followed two months later.  It is bigger – 60,000 sq ft over four storeys – with a large space for a restaurant/café on the ground floor.

CENE’s criteria for its Project of the Year included evidence that best practice, innovation and technical achievement were deployed to overcome challenges. It had to achieve the lowest environmental impacts, and had to be delivered on or before the planned completion date within the approved cost plan. The project also had to demonstrate the highest health and safety standards and was of a quality that exceeded expectation.

Photo: © Kristen McCluskie

A new office development which aims to revitalise Middlesbrough’s town centre has been nominated for a third award.

Centre Square has been shortlisted as Building Project of the Year in the Constructing Excellence North East Awards 2020.

Constructing Excellence North East (CENE) was due to announce the winners of 14 categories at its awards ceremony on 12 June, but that has been re-scheduled for 9 October because of the coronavirus crisis.

Last month both of Centre Square’s buildings were nominated in the inaugural Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Social Impact Awards which recognise the built environment’s “positive and transformational contribution to society”.

Centre Square was also nominated for the British Council of Offices’ best Commercial Workplace Award by the British Council for Offices (BCO).

RICS is going ahead with a digital ceremony on 1 May but the BCO has delayed its event until the Autumn.

Mark Ashall – of Ashall Projects, the developer behind Centre Square – said recognition by Constructing Excellence North East was welcome news for everybody involved in the project, especially during these difficult times.

With negotiations with potential occupiers at an advanced stage, Mr Ashall said: “We expect to be announcing more good news soon.”

He added: “The aim of the Centre Square development was to create buildings which have a stunning visual impact, but also provide a high-quality working environment that is adaptable, energy and space efficient and sustainable,” he said. “Employees are a business’ greatest asset – and that was our starting point.”

The Centre Square project was launched after the think-tank Centre for Cities concluded that Middlesbrough town centre needed Grade A offices to attract large companies offering well-paid jobs which, in turn, would have a beneficial impact on the local economy.

In July Two Centre Square, a three-storey 35,000 sq ft office building, was completed. One Centre Square followed two months later.  It is bigger – 60,000 sq ft over four storeys – with a large space for a restaurant/café on the ground floor.

CENE’s criteria for its Project of the Year included evidence that best practice, innovation and technical achievement were deployed to overcome challenges. It had to achieve the lowest environmental impacts, and had to be delivered on or before the planned completion date within the approved cost plan. The project also had to demonstrate the highest health and safety standards and was of a quality that exceeded expectation.

Photo: © Kristen McCluskie

Centre Square, a project to revitalise Middlesbrough town centre and kick start the area’s economy, is in contention for a number of prestigious awards.

Both of Centre Square’s buildings – One and Two Centre Square – have been nominated in the inaugural Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Social Impact Awards which recognise the built environment’s “positive and transformational contribution to society”.

Meanwhile judges from the British Council for Offices (BCO) have been on a fact-finding visit to Middlesbrough after One and Two Centre Square were nominated for best Commercial Workplace Award.

Tony Hordon, chairman of the BCO Awards 2020, said: “In order to win, projects need to stand out in a world class field. The winners need to get everything just right – and then surprise with something extra.”

The Centre Square project was launched five years ago by developer Mark Ashall after the influential think-tank Centre for Cities concluded that Middlesbrough town centre needed Grade A offices to attract large companies offering well-paid jobs which, in turn, would have a beneficial impact on the local economy.

In July Two Centre Square, a three-storey 35,000 sq ft office building, was completed. One Centre Square followed two months later.  It is bigger – 60,000 sq ft over four storeys – with a large space for a restaurant/café on the ground floor.

“The aim was to create buildings which have a stunning visual impact, but also provide high-quality space that is adaptable, economic and sustainable,” said Mr Ashall of Ashall Projects. “Employees are a business’ greatest asset – and that was our starting point. Above all we wanted to deliver a great working environment where people want to work.”

He added: “We are delighted with the endorsement from two sets of judges.  It underlines our ambition to create the very best, capable of attracting business and employees to Middlesbrough.” Sarah Sabin – director of Seymour Architecture, the architects for Centre Square – said: “Since both buildings were completed they have had a positive impact upon the town centre and the local community, attracting great comments from local residents and businesses as well as receiving strong interest from prospective tenants.

“It is very pleasing to know that they have been so well received and even the reaction of the visiting judging committees was rewarding to see. Industry recognition in the form of an award would be the icing on the cake.”

The project has already had a major impact on the Tees Valley economy. All of the workforce involved in construction worked within 25 miles of the centre of Middlesbrough. New jobs were created and an estimated £5.5m was spent with local businesses. Negotiations are on-going with a number of potential occupiers and the results will be announced in the near future.

The regional final of the RICS Social Impact Award takes place on 1 May in Newcastle. The national Grand Final is in London in September. The Northern Awards dinner for the BCO Regional Innovation Award is held next month in Manchester. All regional winners compete at the National Awards dinner in London in October.

Pictured: Two Centre Square – © Kristen McCluskie Photography

Teesside could be on track to benefit from thousands of construction and engineering jobs created by HS2.

Following government approval of the “game-changing” rail project, the Construction Industry Training Board has said thousands of new jobs will be created in the next two years.

And Middlesbrough College has invested in construction and engineering skills training to help hundreds of Teessiders to take advantage of the opportunities.

At its industry-leading campus, complete with its £20m STEM training centre, hundreds of students are already getting the hands-on experience they need to excel in well paid careers in civil engineering, electrical engineering, construction management and more.

Zoe Lewis is principal and chief executive of Middlesbrough College Group – which encompasses Middlesbrough College, Northern Skills Group and TTE Technical UK.

She said: “We’re investing in the training facilities and course provision to make sure we’re offering a solution to the challenges the construction industry faces.

“We’re also building the skills needed to fulfil some of the country’s biggest infrastructure projects like HS2.

“We want people to know they can access industry-leading training here on Teesside – and we’ll continue to build on that reputation, providing skills and opportunities to benefit learners, workers and employees.”

Train builder Hitachi – with its factory at nearby Newton Aycliffe – has welcomed the HS2 announcement, as it plans to submit a joint bid with Bombardier to build 54 trains.

If successful, it could generate further engineering jobs.

Mike Emery, associate director of construction at Middlesbrough College, said: “We’re committed to helping construction and engineering employers access the high quality skills their workforce needs – and HS2 is a huge opportunity for Teesside which will be supported by Middlesbrough College.

“With industry leading facilities and expert tutors, many from industry backgrounds, we’re attracting ambitious learners from all over the North East and are seeing huge growth in student recruitment across our construction and engineering projects.

“Since acquiring TTE, we’re now training more than 750 engineering and construction apprentices – which demonstrates just how much of an impact the skills that are being engineered on Teesside will have on industry.

“We’re proud to be continuing to invest in our facilities and extending our course provision into areas such as civil engineering to meet industry demands.”

And bright spark students are already building exciting careers in the region and beyond through apprenticeships with well-known companies such as Hitachi Rail, Elring Klinger, Labman, Persimmon Homes and Tolent Construction.

Taking the industry by storm, the College’s apprentices have been putting Middlesbrough on the map at a series of regional competitions across the North.

19-year-old electrical apprentice Georgia Owens won the SPARKS ‘Regional Apprentice of the Year’ competition while 20-year-old plumbing apprentice Sam Scott scooped the hotly-contested HIP Regional Apprentice of the Year award.

With a unique offering in the region, Middlesbrough College delivers courses from every occupational sector and at every level – from Level 1 to Level 6 Degree Level, as well as HNC and HND courses.

Higher National Certificates (HNCs) and Diplomas (HNDs) are vocationally orientated qualifications specifically designed to provide practical, industry related skills to both College leavers and those already working in a job who require new skills.

Building on its Good Ofsted rating and TEF Gold success – a teaching excellence framework (TEF) that assesses the quality of teaching in universities in England – the College was also selected as the only Tees Valley IoT and T Level provider.

The new T Level qualifications have been developed with employers to equip learners with the skills they need to enter the world of work – and the College’s pilot programme was a huge success.

Mike added: “As the only College in the Tees Valley selected to pilot T Levels, we’re leading the way when it comes to new delivery methods, and are working closely with employers in the region to ensure our students are set up to succeed in top industry jobs.”