Go-ahead given for £2m engineering innovation centre

The go-ahead has been given for the creation of a £2million engineering innovation centre in Arbroath, described as “a significant milestone” for Scotland.
The new centre is to be developed at Dundee & Angus College’s Arbroath campus.The new centre is to be developed at Dundee & Angus College’s Arbroath campus.
The new centre is to be developed at Dundee & Angus College’s Arbroath campus.

The Tay Cities Engineering Partnership received funding approval from the Scottish Government to bring together a range of expertise from a variety of training organisations, public sector bodies and engineering employers across the Tay Cities Region.

The project is the latest to receive financial backing as part of the Tay Cities Region Deal and includes the creation of a centre for training, demonstration and product prototyping, while developing foundation to graduate level and upskilling programmes.

From the implementation of robotics and artificial intelligence to the digital skills needed to adapt to future engineering, design and technology methods, the centre, to be developed at Dundee & Angus College’s campus in the town, also promises to have benefits for local businesses and the area’s economy.

Alison Smith, Angus Council's director of vibrant communities and sustainable growth, said: “Over the last couple of years, the economic and business environment has changed significantly, placing more importance on innovation and skills.

"As a result, there is a growing need for businesses to adopt new digital technologies, develop renewable sources of energy and cleaner manufacturing to reach net zero.

“Angus Council is delighted that the business case for the Tay Cities Engineering Partnership has been given full approval. This marks a huge step forward for the sector.”

Simon Hewitt, college principal, also said that the development of skills in the sector is essential for both the local and regional economy to grow and thrive.

He added: “This partnership, and the exciting innovation centre facility being developed at our Arbroath campus, will provide a real springboard for the necessary skills and training opportunities needed to develop the ‘engineer of the future.

The use of data, AI, robotics and VR will be integral to the delivery as we prepare local and regional businesses and communities for Scotland’s next steps in the path to net zero and a future in renewable energy.”

Scottish Government Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said: “The Tay Cities Engineering Partnership is an excellent example of the public and private sectors working together to keep Scotland at the forefront of engineering and manufacturing innovation, creating new opportunities for our young people to develop the skills they will need to flourish in our future workplaces.

“Our £2 million investment comes at a crucial time, as Scotland recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic and we build the innovative well-being economy that will drive our future prosperity.”

Working with the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, the Tay Cities Engineering Partnership will bring together key private and public organisations, including Angus Council, Dundee & Angus College, Fife College, Perth College UHI, Perth and Kinross Council and Angus Training Group.