£250,000 Let's Grow grant for offshore centre

A new offshore survival centre set to open in the region has received a £250,000 Let's Grow grant from the Regional Growth Fund

Let's Grow campaign
Let's Grow campaign

A new offshore survival centre set to open in the region has received £250,000 from the Let’s Grow campaign, which is backed by The Journal.

The Advanced Industrial Solutions centre in North Shields, North Tyneside will train workers from the offshore oil and gas, wind and maritime sectors, taking them through survival techniques via simulated emergency scenarios.

These will include everything from helicopter ditching at sea, sea survival, escaping from smoke-filled environments and how to evacuate safely via lifeboats.

Simon Allen, senior project manager at the BE Group, which along with UNW are partners in Let’s Grow, a £30m Regional Growth Fund programme, said the centre is ‘a welcome and much-needed boost to the North Tyneside economy.’

He added: “We are delighted to have been able to provide a £250,000 Let’s Grow grant from the Regional Growth Fund to help make the survival centre a reality.

“The offshore oil and gas sector is massively important to the North East because of the companies we have here, so we awarded the grant in order to allow AIS to seize the opportunity that creates.”

(AIS) has appointed Rory Soutar from Aberdeen to head the new centre, which is set to open in spring.

The training firm, which was set up in 2007, is also creating 22 extra jobs linked to the new 20,000 sq ft centre, next to AIS’s headquarters on the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate.

Soutar, 25, joins AIS from OPITO, the oil and gas industry’s training body, where he was responsible for setting and enforcing the industry’s training standards in Europe.

Although born and bred in Scotland, Soutar has relocated to the North East to take up the role.

He said: “Although it was a big decision to move my life from Aberdeen to the North East, this was an unmissable opportunity and one that I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into.

“Our new survival centre in North Tyneside will be the newest and most advanced available globally and it is very exciting.”

Paul Stonebanks, MD at AIS, said: “Rory is extremely enthusiastic and brings with him a wealth of experience in both setting industry standards and auditing high quality training courses for the offshore and maritime sectors.

“He is well-known and well respected and will bring strong leadership throughout our new project.”


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