Specialist centre will help marine businesses

An artist's impression of the Centre for Innovation at Swans.
An artist's impression of the Centre for Innovation at Swans.

A new specialist centre is aiming to help small and medium-sized businesses in the marine and offshore industry.

The £1.9m Centre for Innovation at Swans, on the north bank of the River Tyne in Wallsend, will provide new and flexible business accommodation when it opens soon.

The site, on the former Swan Hunters shipyard, is included in the River Tyne North Bank Low Carbon Enterprise Zone.

The centre – due to open for business by late autumn – has involved the conversion of two floors of a five storey office block by North Tyneside Council, delivering ten units for rent.

Other parts of the building complex – which are currently occupied by Swan Hunter North East Limited for marine design, Graspan Frankton for training in the marine sector and Shoney Wind – will continue to be used by them.

The new Centre for Innovation is part of a raft of significant developments which are progressing rapidly at Swans, as part of the council’s ongoing work to transform the former shipyard into a hub for firms linked to advanced engineering, marine, renewable and sub-sea sectors.

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “This latest development creates a unique offer at Swans for small and medium-sized businesses, particularly those involved in the renewable energy and marine sectors.

“We expect the Centre for Innovation to attract significant interest from firms looking for that unique combination of prime location, flexible facilities, and close links to other firms within the sector.”

The Centre for Innovation project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, securing just over £1m of ERDF investment.

For more about the Centre for Innovation at Swans, visit www.swanstyneside.gov.uk, email business@northtyneside.gov.uk or call (0191) 643 6409.