What is it?
The Swans Centre for Innovation is a specialist business centre which officially opened in Wallsend in July 2016.
It is a major part of our wider, ongoing £100m project to transform the former Swan Hunter shipyard into Swans Offshore Energy Park, a hub for the offshore energy, subsea and marine sectors. Two floors (ground and first) of a five-storey office block within the Swans site, which is owned by us, have been converted into contemporary offices.
The ground floor features one large open plan office with four adjoining smaller offices for one tenant, while the second floor contains nine small to medium-sized offices which is currently multi-tenanted.
Work on Phase 2 starts in spring 2019 to refurbish the vacant second, third and fourth floors. This will provide an additional 940 square metres of floorspace, creating flexible accommodation for up to 10 additional businesses, a new car park and reconfiguration of the reception area.
Who is there?
It is well occupied by a range of small and medium-sized businesses specialising in the advanced engineering, subsea, marine, oil, gas or offshore renewable energy sectors.
Current tenants include Rever Offshore, ALE Heavylift, GAC Shipping, IMH, Client Inspection Services, Walker Subsea Engineering and Swan Hunter NE Ltd.
This is thanks to the Centre’s enviable position within the River Tyne North Bank Low Carbon Enterprise Zone, its excellent location close to a range of other businesses from the sector and superb transport links.
Why has it been created?
To strengthen North Tyneside’s reputation on a national scale as a first-class, accessible location for global oil, gas, renewable, subsea and marine industries where businesses can grow and thrive.
The Centre for Innovation is part of our aim to put the Swans site back on the global map and bring much needed employment in new growth industries to the area.
The office based businesses located at the centre will link with the manufacturing activities located on the main site which aims to form a strong network and supply chain for the sector.
Who else has been involved?
Surgo Construction Ltd has been appointed to design and build Phase 2. Work started in spring 2019 and is due to be completed by spring 2020.
How it's been funded
CFI Phase 1 was part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, securing just over £1m of ERDF investment. Funding also came from the Growing Places funded via the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.
Phase 2 is part financed by the Government’s Local Growth Deal through the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) providing £1.39million of funding.