Site investigations have started on land where the new £55m TeesAMP advanced manufacturing park will be located in Middlesbrough.
TeesAMP will offer 180,000sq ft of high quality accommodation across ten buildings in its first phase, with potential for up to 1,000 new jobs.
The work will look into ground conditions which may have been affected by the closeness of the river Tees and the site’s previous industrial use.
Property developer Geoff Hogg, one of the people behind the plans, explained: “Parts of the site were reclaimed from the river and built up to form level land to build on.
“There were factory buildings used as the Newport Iron Works and Newport Dry Colour Works as well as railway sidings, off the Darlington and Saltburn Branch so we expect to find remnants of that bygone industrial era.
“One of the legacy materials is slag left over from the steel making process. It is likely that this will be excavated, broken up and mixed with other materials so that it can be reused.
“Levels for the site will be designed so that the amount of material to be removed from site will be minimised – saving many hundreds of wagon trips. We want the build to be as sustainable as possible and this will be a great start.”
Middlesbrough Council is investing almost £12.5m, with the authority giving the green light to the scheme in December last year.
Middlesbrough deputy mayor and executive member for City Centre Strategy Councillor Charlie Rooney said: “This is the latest important stage in the creation of a major new addition to Middlesbrough’s economy, and that of the whole Tees Valley.
“TeesAMP is a development of national significance that will deliver long-lasting benefits in terms of jobs, skills, prosperity and further investment.
“It’s great to see such a forward-thinking project gather momentum, and it’s a clear indication of the ambition we have for the future.”
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “We have already invested £7.6m into this site for remediation and infrastructure works, and the current investigation is another step forward in making these exciting plans a reality.
“When completed, this development will be a further boost to jobs and growth and will draw new and innovative businesses to our area.”
Richard Brown of Dodds Brown, the agents marketing the site, said: “There is a national shortage of high quality buildings for manufacturing businesses.
“TeesAMP will change that - attracting great firms and the jobs they bring.”
The site investigations will involve:
23 boreholes up to 30m deep and three boreholes to 45m deep
Samples to test the strength of the ground so that foundations can be designed
30 trial pits and trenches to determine the condition of the ground and investigate if there are any relic structures present from the previous historical land uses
Investigations for slag to see if it can be left in place or reprocessed and reused
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