Willmott Dixon will shortly start work on a University Technical College (UTC) in Durham that will provide students with access to the best engineering minds at Hitachi Rail Europe, Gestamp Tallent and University of Sunderland when it opens in September 2016.

The new £10m University Technical College South Durham on the Aycliffe Business Park will see close collaboration with engineers at Hitachi Rail Europe’s new plant nearby, along with Gestamp Tallent, a developer and manufacturer of chassis and suspension products for the automobile industry, and the University of Sunderland, the UTC’s lead partner.

The UTC’s creation is a huge boost to the region’s manufacturing capability, providing key industry collaboration to encourage a new generation of skills into the thriving sector that will also support more inward investment by companies like Hitachi. The UTC’s link-up with large engineering companies will provide students with practical work experience to support their studies.

Willmott Dixon was appointed through the Scape Major Works Framework and is working with Newcastle-based Ryder Architecture to deliver the three-storey facility that will be packed with general and specialist engineering equipment such as computer-aided design, science laboratories, workshops and a teaching block for studying GSCE and A level subjects.

Willmott Dixon has an office in Gateshead and its significant presence in the region includes the recently completed Hebburn Community Hub and a new police station for Newcastle Police Force. Managing director in the North East Anthony Dillon:

“We have a highly skilled local team that is really excited to be responsible for this excellent new UTC. As with all our work, we will try whenever possible to use local companies during the project.”