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Business & Economy

£3.5 million engineering test centre in Gateshead nears completion

A £3.5 million Gateshead engineering assembly and test centre has reached a key phase of construction following the completion of the structural steel framework.

The 48,000sq ft purpose-built centre is being developed to enable Express Engineering to maintain growth and expansion across international markets.

The development is being undertaken in partnership with UK Land Estates and will see Express Engineering work on an expanded product strategy to supply assembled and tested actuators, connection systems and tooling for wellheads and subsea tree structures.

When the centre comes on stream in late 2020, a number of skilled engineering roles could be created, mainly across manufacturing connection systems and other subsea technologies.

Completion of the structural work comes as Express Engineering maintains a cautious but resilient posture in the face of uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company has continued to win new orders and is forecasting revenues of £30 million this year.

Trevor Hutchinson, connections business manager at Express Engineering, said: “It’s great to see the project reach this important phase.

“We are continuing to invest to support our growth ambitions, ensuring that we are well-placed to provide our customers with the high-quality subsea products they need when hopefully the oil and gas market return to some sense of normality and starts to ramp-up.”

Tim Witty, development director at UK Land Estates, added: “With lockdown beginning to ease and businesses starting to get back to work, we’re glad to see that a key phase in construction for the centre has reached completion.

“With the site set to create a number of skilled jobs, we welcome this addition to one of our premier trading estates.”

Working with customers like TechnipFMC, Baker Hughes and Aker Solutions, Express Engineering is an exporter operating within various geographical areas, including the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, east coast of Brazil, east and west coasts of Africa and Australasia.