Work set to start at £3m Sunderland base for revolutionary centre to boost manufacturing sector

An organisation driving the electric revolution is set to move into a £3million base in Sunderland.

Sunday, 4th April 2021, 1:55 pm
The Skills Academy for Sustainable Manufacturing and Innovation (SASMI).
The Skills Academy for Sustainable Manufacturing and Innovation (SASMI).

The Government-backed Driving the Electric Revolution (DER) Industrialisation Centre North East will move into the Skills Academy for Sustainable Manufacturing and Innovation (SASMI), purchased by Sunderland City Council.

The move will create a new home to help spur on the development of the region’s advanced manufacturing sector.

The Centre – led by Newcastle University – will provide open-access facilities with state-of-the-art equipment, bringing together the UK’s technology and manufacturing expertise in electrification research and development.

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Enabling works will start shortly to allow the Centre – which will require a specialist fit out – to be accommodated in the property.

Officials say the move will ensure that Sunderland and the North East remain at the forefront of advanced manufacturing, growing the North East’s knowledge economy.

Rachel Chambers, Chief Operating Officer for DER Industrialisation Centre North East, said: “We are thrilled to have found a home in SASMI in Washington, the beating heart of the region’s advanced manufacturing base.

“The North East is in a unique position to support the UK's ambitious goal of net zero given its electrification capability and we’re absolutely determined to enable that.

“Having a physical base is critical, and in SASMI, we have a building that is well located at the heart of a world-leading advanced manufacturing cluster, and that – with the support of Sunderland City Council - will soon be transformed into a home that is absolutely fit for purpose.”

Peter McIntyre, executive director of city development at Sunderland City Council, said: “Electrification is a significant and transformational opportunity not only for Sunderland and the North East advanced manufacturing community, but also for the UK as a whole, and ensuring that we’re absolutely at the cutting edge is key to that.

“Securing the DER Industrialisation Centre in Sunderland – closely linked to the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) – means we can support businesses to maximise the opportunities around electrification, keeping the city and the region at the forefront of innovation, and ensuring we are able to maximise the benefits in terms of business growth and job creation”