Demolition work close to the Port of Blyth will start in February to make way for a new state-of-the-art-learning facility, the Energy Central Learning Hub.
Three buildings at the South Harbour entrance of the port will be removed using a soft demolition technique, meaning noise, vibration and general disruption to residents, businesses, and wildlife, will be kept to a minimum by removing the buildings brick by brick.
The new 2,396 sqm hub is phase one of Energy Central Campus and will build upon the success of the existing industrial training cluster in Blyth, adding to the offer of the Port Training Centre and STEM Hub alongside Newcastle University and Northumberland College. Businesses will be open as usual including the popular Caboose restaurant.
Once built, Energy Central Learning Hub will provide STEM-related industrial training and education. It will also house major conferencing capabilities, events space, and a lecture theatre to encourage collaboration between employers, education institutions and research facilities.
Energy Central Learning Hub is a flagship project for Energy Central which is a strategic partnership between Northumberland County Council, Port of Blyth, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and Advance Northumberland.
North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Clean Energy and Connectivity and Deputy Leader of Northumberland County Council Cllr Richard Wearmouth said: “The ambition for Energy Central Campus has always been to bring more clean energy skills and jobs to Blyth and the wider region and we are thrilled that work is beginning.
“The green revolution is a huge opportunity for the North of Tyne region and the Energy Central Learning Hub is a huge step in ensuring that our communities have access to the industry responsive skills needed to secure the new jobs of the future. We are proud that the North of Tyne is a part of this exciting new development.”
Martin Lawlor, Chief Executive of Port of Blyth and Blyth Town Deal board member, commented: “Speaking on behalf of the Energy Central partnership, we are extremely pleased with how the Energy Central Learning Hub plans are progressing.
“The expansion of dedicated STEM learning facilities can ensure local schools and residents have the skills to capitalise on the growth of the offshore wind industry.
“The new facility will create a highly visible and easily accessible hub for learners and businesses alike. Local businesses will be very hands-on when the campus is up and running and we plan to have several vocational options available to people wanting to engage in STEM activities or retrain in the clean energy industry.”
Councillor Wojciech Ploszaj, Cabinet Member for Business, at Northumberland County Council, said: “This is a major milestone in the overall Energising Blyth programme which aims to revitalise Blyth and make it a leader in the clean energy sector.
“The new Learning Hub will help us to connect the community to all the fantastic opportunities to work in the clean growth sector.”
Coun Eileen Cartie, County Councillor for Wensleydale Ward, Blyth, where the project is located said: “We are thrilled to see that work is beginning on the Energy Central Learning Hub. The facility will be a fantastic addition to Blyth and bring real opportunities for local people to gain the skills needed to land a job in the clean energy sector.”
Part two of Energy Central Campus will house a second building, The Energy Central Institute in central Blyth. Planning is yet to be submitted for approval but the proposed project will focus on higher level skills, research and innovation in support of clean energy sector growth.
The Energy Central Learning Hub is part of the £70m Blyth regeneration programme that will revitalise the town over the next five years delivering new jobs and learning opportunities, and helping to drive the clean energy revolution in the UK.
Visit Energising Blyth for more information: www.northumberland.gov.uk/energisingblyth
For information about Energy Central go to https://www.energycentraluk.co.uk/
- Energising Blyth is a £70 million programme to revitalise the town over the next five years delivering new jobs and learning opportunities, and helping to drive the clean energy revolution in the UK. From 2021 to 2026 several major capital projects are being explored and if approved, they will:
- Renew the town centre with new cultural, education, leisure and residential projects around a revitalised Market Place.
- Create 7,500 jobs, 5,000 learning opportunities, and attract over 100,000 extra visitors to Blyth each year.
- Provide skills, culture and leisure activities to local people, communities and businesses.
- Improve walking and cycling routes and connections to public transport networks, making it easier to travel to and from Blyth.
- Energy Central was founded to secure inward investment, support local growth, especially through the supply chain, enable innovation and increase job opportunities in the clean energy and offshore wind sector.
- The Energy Central Campus project is part of the Energising Blyth programme and is being delivered by the Energy Central partners.
- The Energy Central Learning Hub is being funded by Northumberland County Council, HM Government Towns Fund and the North of Tyne Combined Authority.