A leading UK-based research centre is currently undergoing a £1.5 million refurbishment in the Tees Valley.
Having landed a £3 million grant, the Materials Processing Institute in Teesside has announced that half of it will be spent on rebuilding its research facility and the remaining monies will buy new equipment.
The work will be completed in November this year and the building will be occupied by SMEs who will work hand-in-hand with the MPI. The long-term plan is to help fledgling firms grow before they move out and make room for new SMEs.
According to Chris McDonald, CEO of the MPI, the Institute’s Teesside premises are nearly 40 years old and in need of an upgrade. Part of the building was originally constructed in 1976 and when redeveloped will house up to 15 SMEs on the first floor with business services and commercial departments on ground floor level.
McDonald claims that the MPI has a long track record of being at the forefront of technological development. He said that most of the companies taking up a tenancy at the newly refurbished premises would be technology-based and will benefit from the work of the MPI.
“It makes sense to have everyone on our campus for logistical and development purposes,” said McDonald, adding that plans are in place that could generate up to £170 million for the local Teesside economy over the next 20 years. “It is something we’re very excited about,” he said.
The MPI was founded almost 70 years ago and is the UK’s longest-established centre for industrial materials research. It has its roots initially in British Steel but latterly Tata Steel and has reverted to independent status since November 2014.