Leading-edge engineering test centre planned for Alconbury Enterprise Campus


TWI welcomes the announcement by the Parliamentary Under Secretary for Communities and Local Government, Stephen Williams MP, that the Government’s Growth Deal will support the launch of a new engineering test centre at Alconbury Enterprise Campus in north-west Cambridgeshire.

The award will be made to TWI as part of the Alconbury Weald project to regenerate the former RAF airbase into a 150 hectare Government-backed Enterprise Zone for advanced engineering, high-value manufacturing and R&D, and has been enabled through the work of the Greater Cambridge Great Peterborough Enterprise Partnership.

The planned TWI centre will complement the company’s activities at its headquarters at Granta Park, Cambridge – which includes the National Structural Integrity Research Centre – and its regional offices in Middlesbrough, Rotherham, Port Talbot and Aberdeen, allowing full-scale testing and validation under harsh environmental conditions of large structures and components in support of a range of industry sectors including oil and gas, energy, aerospace and rail transport.

The facility will have both regional and global significance in terms of boosting engineering research activity in the County, and meeting the needs of international organisations looking to ensure the safe operation of their complex engineering structures. 

Aamir Khalid, Director of Technology at TWI, said: '‘The good news about the Growth Deal funding for Alconbury means that in presenting new business to the region we will be able to extend our work in structural integrity on a far greater scale, developing new approaches and test procedures, and creating opportunities for companies to innovate within a highly specialised engineering test environment.’

The TWI test centre will create around 60 high-value engineering jobs, and will promote development and growth for regional small and medium-sized companies involved in equipment manufacture or in engineering production.

Nigel Hugill, Executive Chairman of Urban&Civic, the owners and developers of Alconbury Enterprise Campus, said: ’This is wonderful news at every level.  Leading edge advancement, combined with a relentless determination to innovate is what defines the region.  These attributes could not have been articulated more clearly by LEP colleagues in successfully making the Growth Deal case.  In our turn at Alconbury, we will work collaboratively to build the best research and testing facility for TWI and continue to support and develop the growing R&D community at Alconbury Campus.’

The Growth Deal will also see a Technical & Vocational Centre at Alconbury Enterprise Campus focusing on engineering technical expertise and the built environment.


For more information, please contact twi@twi-global.com

103/14 Issued by catherine.condie@twi.co.uk                                                                                                  

7 July 2014


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TWI is a world leading research and technology organisation with a focus on materials, engineering and manufacturing.