(l – r) Paul McDougall (Express Engineering - Production Team Leader), Tim Witty (UK Land Estates - MRICS, Development Director) and Trevor Hutchinson (Express Engineering - Connections Business Manager

New Gateshead engineering facility reaches key phase

Investment in a new £3.5m Gateshead engineering assembly and test centre continues with construction reaching a key phase following the completion of the structural steel framework.

The 48,000 sq. ft purpose-built centre is being developed to enable Express Engineering, a global leader in innovative manufacturing, assembly and testing solutions for the subsea oil and gas industry, to maintain growth and expansion across international markets.

Medium to long-term forecasts remain strong for the subsea oil and gas sector although the global pandemic has given a big jolt to the whole industry.

The Gateshead investment, being undertaken in partnership with UK Land Estates, is part of Express Engineering’s strategic focus on an expanded product strategy to supply assembled and tested actuators, connection systems and tooling for wellheads and subsea tree structures for global sectors.

When the centre comes on stream in late 2020, a number of skilled engineering roles could be created, mainly across manufacturing connection systems and other subsea technologies.

Completion of the steelwork comes as Express Engineering continues to maintain a resilient performance and a cautious position in the face of uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, winning a clutch of new orders earlier this year and revenues forecast to exceed £30m during 2020.

Trevor Hutchinson, connections business manager at Express Engineering, who is hopeful global business will resume soon and demand will recover quickly, said: “It’s great to see the project reach this important phase.

“We are continuing to invest to support our growth ambitions, ensuring that we are well-placed to provide our customers with the high-quality subsea products they need when hopefully the oil and gas market return to some sense of normality and starts to ramp-up.”

Tim Witty, development director at UK Land Estates, said: “With lockdown beginning to ease and businesses starting to get back to work, we’re glad to see that a key phase in construction for the centre has reached completion. With the site set to create a number of skilled jobs, we welcome this addition to one of our premier trading estates.”

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