Bede Academy has been named as the first educational partner at Blyth’s new Energy Central Learning Hub, which is being delivered as part of the £70m Energising Blyth Programme to grow, renew and connect the town.

The partnership brings industry led T Levels to the town for the first time and will set students on the pathway to the latest skilled careers in the technology and engineering sectors.

There are two Engineering T Levels to choose from, as well as a Digital T Level that have been developed in collaboration with employers and education providers. The new two-year courses will begin in September 2023, with the first cohort of students studying at the academy during their first year, and moving to the new facility when it opens in 2024.

The new 2,396 sqm Energy Central Learning Hub at South Harbour, Port of Blyth is phase one of Energy Central Campus and will build upon the success of the existing industrial training cluster in the town including Port Training Services and STEM Hub alongside facilities operated by Newcastle University, Northumberland Skills Welding & Fabrication Centre and Blyth Tall Ship project.

The project is being delivered by Advance Northumberland with appointed contractors Galliford Try on behalf of Northumberland County Council and the Energy Central Partnership.  It is funded by the UK Government’s Towns Fund, North of Tyne Combined Authority and Northumberland County Council.

Once built, Energy Central Learning Hub will deliver STEM education and sector-related vocational and work-based learning in high-quality specialist training facilities.

It will also house major conferencing capabilities as well as a visitor centre to encourage collaboration between employers, education institutions and Northumberland residents.

Martin Lawlor, Chief Executive of the Port of Blyth commented: “Speaking on behalf of the Energy Central partnership, we are absolutely delighted that Bede Academy is extending its teaching and learning programme, giving young people the opportunity to study brand new digital and engineering qualifications at Blyth’s Energy Central Learning Hub.

“It is brilliant to have the academy onboard as our very first education and training provider, delivering T Levels from the heart of the clean energy cluster of businesses at the Port.”

Andrew Thelwell, Principal of Bede Academy, part of Emmanuel Schools Foundation, said: “The Energy Central Learning Hub provides a transformational opportunity for the community here in Blyth. It will enable Bede Academy to develop the clean energy workforce of the future, in partnership with other local providers and some of our world class employers.

“This will give students in Blyth the skills they need to access high value careers in renewable energy, marine technology and advanced manufacturing, based right on our doorstep.”

Councillor  Guy Renner-Thomson, Cabinet Member for Young People  at Northumberland County Council, said: “We are delighted to announce the partnership between Blyth’s Energy Central Learning Hub and the award-winning Bede Academy.

“The new T Levels delivered by the academy will enable students to take advantage of the fantastic career opportunities available within the clean energy sector. “We are confident that Bede Academy’s teaching and learning programme will help students go on to succeed, as we embark on a green revolution here in Blyth.”

Alan Ferguson OBE, Chair of Blyth Town Deal Board added: “The Bede Academy partnership is welcome news for the community of Blyth as we look to up skill the future generation and secure our reputation as a town leading the clean energy revolution.”