An energy efficiency specialist is creating new jobs on Wearside after deciding to locate its new state of the art low-carbon driving simulator in the Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Enterprise Zone.
Effective Transport Solutions, a new division of Tadea-UK in Billingham, is bringing the equipment to the heart of the region’s low-carbon automotive hub at Sunderland, with its new base at Zero Carbon Futures next to Nissan and Gateshead College’s SASMI skills academy in Washington.
Nine jobs will be created to run the simulator and teach fleet and professional drivers the skills they need to make their motoring safer, cleaner and cheaper.
The Journal has previously revealed how Tadea was one of five tenants who were moving into the Future Technology Centre, joining Smith Electric Vehicles, Hyperdrive Innovation, charge point installation experts ELM EV and technology company Zero Carbon Futures.
The £4.48m centre – owned and managed by Gateshead College – opened ahead of schedule last week, with the 80% capacity provided by the firms driving the need to officially open for business a month early.
Tadea’s managing director, Steve Hunter, said: “We wanted to be part of the hub of excellence at Gateshead College’s Barmston Court, and our move to the centre is a culmination of a lot of work with partners in the low-carbon sector.
“This will be the first simulated training facility of its kind for drivers, with state of the art classrooms and highly-skilled trainers.
“The project will involve nine staff and we will be recruiting the first seven to work at Sunderland in the next couple of months.”
The simulator can be programmed to a variety of situations, from ordinary motorway driving to adverse conditions, to help teach motorists to drive safely and simultaneously reduce their carbon emissions.
Primarily aimed at companies with fleets of drivers on the roads, such as haulage firms, the emergency services and local authorities, the centre will also teach motorists driving skills to reduce their fuel costs.
Tadea worked with Sunderland City Council to find the right home for its new division which is set to be fully operational in July.
The city’s low carbon enterprise zone was the perfect location, close to Nissan and industry innovators working at SASMI.
Steve Hunter said: “Sunderland City Council has been great. They were extremely helpful and encouraged us in our ambitions and found solutions when we hit problems.
“They arranged meetings, helped with networking and provided advice and support to help with the move.”
Sunderland City Council deputy leader, Councillor Harry Trueman, said: “Sunderland has long enjoyed a reputation as a centre of automotive excellence, thanks to Nissan and its suppliers.
“Now the low-carbon enterprise zone is enhancing that and offering new incentives and opportunities for companies in this sector to choose Sunderland as a location.
“We are delighted Tadea is bringing its new equipment to the city and that the company is creating additional skilled jobs. We look forward to the launch of the service this summer.”