A Blyth philanthropist is helping develop the next batch of engineers.
Tony Platten has donated £50,000 from the Platten Family Fund at the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland to TyneMet College in North Tyneside.
The money will support the creation of an IGNITE Centre to help young people to think about a career in engineering.
Tony, a former electrical engineering firm owner, said: “As far back as I can remember I have had a screw driver and a pair of plyers in my hand and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my career.
“In the last four years I have lectured on electronics and entrepreneurship and been disappointed the majority of students do not know what they want to do with themselves or their careers.”
The Ignite Centre for Engineering and Innovation will house a comprehensive technical training suite.
Tony added: “Through its shipbuilding and locomotive heritage the north east was once a hub of engineering.
“By the year 2025 it is expected there will be a shortage of around 800,000 engineers and technicians and the north east in particular has a shortage of mechanical engineers and electrical engineers for all of the new industries.”
Jon Vincent, principal and chief executive of TyneMet College, said: “There is a growing need for specialist engineering training, the new facility is well positioned to enhance our offering to employers and to stimulate the north east’s response to employer demands in a fast moving sector.
“The launch of the Ignite Centre in the heart of our local community is testimony to that commitment.
“As the only college in the north east to hold the prestigious STEM Assured standard, we are passionate about enthusing and engaging young people in the field of engineering.
“We are delighted to be in award of the grant from the Platten Family Fund at the Community Foundation.
“The donation will supplement Growth Deal Funding provided from the North East Combined Authority (NECA).
“The Platten family’s commitment to encouraging young people into engineering careers is one we absolutely endorse – their interest in the IGNITE Centre is highly appreciated.”
The IGNITE Centre for Engineering & Innovation is due to open in September 2015.
For more information visit www.tynemet.ac.uk