Leading industrial technology specialist Tracerco, part of Johnson Matthey Plc, has reaffirmed its commitment to the north east region with the official opening of its new 61,000 square feet Measurement Technology Centre in Billingham.
The £9million investment, which houses 150 people, at the Belasis Business Park Enterprise Zone, has provided the world leading technology company with a custom built Research, Development and Engineering Test Centre for its team of scientists and engineers. It provides the business with a platform to expand its measurement technology innovation endeavours for customers in the world's oil, gas and petrochemical industries.
The new building incorporates bespoke prototype, scale up and testing facilities for its instrumentation and subsea technologies. This includes a state-of-the-art testing module - complete with dedicated Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) control rooms - for the award winning Tracerco Profiler™ instrument and a 30,000 litre underwater testing pool, designed especially for its newly invented Discovery CT scanner.
Robert MacLeod, Chief Executive, Johnson Matthey, officially opened the new centre at Tracerco's site in Belasis Hall Technology Park, Billingham on Thursday, 9th October.
He said "The opening of the new Measurement Technology Centre marks a significant and essential investment in research and development to support Tracerco's ongoing quest to meet the petroleum industry's most pressing measurement challenges.
"I am confident that the recent launch of Discovery, the world's first CT scanner for pipeline inspection, marks the first of many exciting, new innovations that Tracerco's customers can expect.
Tracerco received a £1million grant from the 'Let's Grow' RGF programme following its commitment to expand its science and engineering team at BIllingham. The programme, is a collaboration between Trinity Mirror Group, BE Group and UNW LLP and provides grant support in the range £50,000 to £1,000,000 for capital investment and R&D projects creating or safeguarding jobs in the North East of England. Tracerco will recruit in excess of 50 new staff members as a result of the MTC development.
Due to its location at the Belasis Business Park Enterprise Zone, Tracerco can also take advantage of up to £55,000 of business rate discount per year for five years.
Leader of Stockton Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: "I am delighted to see Tracerco's expansion. The Tees Valley Enterprise Zones are thriving and this is yet another example of how, with support from the Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership businesses can develop and grow within our Borough."
Tracerco Managing Director, Andy Hurst added: "We are continually striving for excellence in scientific innovation. Our new Measurement Technology Centre is a huge step forward for the business. We have facilities worthy of the very many exceptionally talented scientists and engineers that we employ. This is our platform to realise our goal to be the first to solve our customers' most challenging measurement, inspection and diagnostics problems.
"Tracerco prides itself on its commitment to research and development and the new centre will enable the company to continue on its path to designing and creating innovative new technologies for the oil and gas industry."
Stephen Catchpole, Managing Director of Tees Valley Unlimited, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Tees Valley, said: "The investment by Tracerco is proof that Tees Valley Enterprise Zone, with its five year business rate relief, and the Regional Growth Fund are effective catalysts for economic development in the area.
"Fostering an environment, in collaboration with our stakeholders and partners, including Stockton Council, in which companies of Tracerco's stature and calibre feel confident to grow and develop, is important for the future prosperity of Tees Valley."