UK's first low carbon vehicle academy opens
The north-east of England is well on its way to becoming a low carbon hub with the announcement of the opening of the country's first low carbon vehicle academy.
Today (September 6) Gateshead College's Skills Academy for Sustainable Manufacturing and Innovation (SASMI) opens along with a test track for green vehicles.
The £9.8M academy is according to the team behind it the first of its kind in the UK and unique as its focus on battery assembly, manufacturing, testing, charging and safety.
The academy adds to Gateshead College's credentials in low carbon vehicle training with the college already delivering a full programme of low carbon vehicle Skilled Training.
The north east is home to Nissan in the UK and will be the area where the Japanese firm will produce its leading electric car the LEAF.
Along with Nissan and the region's leading supply chain the new facilities form the government's planned £200M Low Carbon Enterprise Zone (LCEZ), which is expected to create 7,000 new jobs in the region over the next decade.
Gateshead College managing director, Mick Brophy, said: "North east England is at the heart of the UK's emerging low carbon vehicle sector, making it the ideal home for the country's first sustainable skills academy.
"If Britain is to continue to lead the world in the development and adoption of cleaner vehicles, we must also lead in training the people who will design, build and service them.
"The Academy will support the growth of a new automotive industry, delivering the skill sets needed for these vital green-collar jobs."