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Alan Shearer reopens iconic Newcastle factory

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Alan Shearer has re-opened an iconic engineering factory in Newcastle, after it underwent a £20million transformation.

The investment in Armstrong Works by Reece Group has created 100 new jobs at the Scotswood Road site.

Once dubbed the world's first defence factory and the Workshop of the World, the factory produced the hydraulics for Newcastle's Swing Bridge and London's Tower Bridge, as well as parts for the Spitfire and the 'bouncing bombs' used by the Dambusters. It also made the first breech-loading gun for the war in Crimea and Chieftain tanks in the Second World War.

The factory was closed by former owners BAE Systems in 2012, with the loss of 330 jobs.

But the recent investment has reinvented the site as the new home of Reece Group and its 500 employees. The North East family firm is the holding company with engineering businesses operating in the defence, oil and gas, power generation, construction, medical and subsea markets.

Newcastle and England footballing legend Alan Shearer opened the factory. He said:

I am delighted to be asked to officially open the redeveloped Armstrong Works. The commitment of the Reece Group to the region is truly impressive. They have ensured the historic Armstrong Works with its industrial heritage remains in the hands of local innovative engineers.

– Alan Shearer

Hundreds of jobs created but business leaders say more skilled workers needed

Hundreds of engineering jobs will be created across the North East as large firms secure new contracts, and expand existing projects.

The international firm AMEC, which is based in Darlington, is looking for up to 700 contract staff.

And Tyneside shipyard OGN has secured a multi-million pound contract, which will create 170 jobs and secure 300 more at the site in Wallsend.

Business leaders say the challenge now is in making sure there are enough skilled workers to fill the posts.


Emmanuel College in Gateshead wins F1 challenge

Schools compete in F1 model challenge Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Team 'Shockwave' from Emmanuel College in Gateshead is the winner of the local final of the 'F1 in Schools' competition.

14 teams from North East Schools gathered at the Great North Museum in Newcastle today, January 14th, to compete. The pupils had to build and race scale model F1 cars.

Only three groups can go forward in the national contest: the winning team, runner up and a team who have entered the competition for the first time.

The Results

Winner: 'Shockwave' from Emmanuel College in Gateshead

Runner Up: 'Alpha Project' from St Bede's Roman Catholic School in Peterlee

Rookie winner: 'Nova Racing' from Royal Grammar School in Newcastle.

In March our region's top teams will have to beat pupils from across the country if they want to represent Great Britain at the F1 in Schools world final in Abu Dhabi later this year.

F1 in Schools is social enterprise aimed at getting more children interested in engineering and get hands on experience.

Multi-billion pound Hitachi contract confirmed

The government has confirmed a £4.5 billion pound Hitachi contract will be used to build the next generation of Britain's Intercity Trains.

A new factory will be built at the site in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, which will manufacture 92 high capacity trains to replace the existing Intercity 125's.

The contract will create 900 new jobs in the area and thousands more in the supply chain.

Hitachi has also confirmed that a Research and Development centre will also be based at the Newton Aycliffe site which could help the firm to secure more European rail contracts in the future.

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