A leading Government official responsible for driving forward the Levelling Up agenda has heard about the vital role played by Teesside University’s National Horizons Centre.


Jeremy Pocklington, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, visited the University’s Darlington campus to see how the national centre of excellence for innovation and training in biosciences and healthcare has helped to grow these key sectors regionally and nationally.


Since it opened in 2019, the £22.3million National Horizons Centre has been at the forefront of the Tees Valley’s drive to establish itself as a global biosciences hub.

Working at the interface between industry and academia, the National Horizons Centre combines research expertise and world class facilities with detailed sector knowledge to ensure that the training and development needs of the bioscience and health sectors are fully equipped to meet future demand.


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic it has also played a lead role in the UK’s fight against the disease, helping to train the vaccine manufacturing workforce.


As Permanent Secretary at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Mr Pocklington is responsible for the overall leadership of the department as well as acting as chief policy advisor to Secretary of State Rt Hon Michael Gove MP.


Mr Pocklington’s tour of the National Horizons Centre follows a similar visit to the facility made by Mr Gove in September 2021.


Professor Vikki Rand, the Interim Director of the National Horizons Centre, said: “A key aspect of Teesside University’s mission is to be an agent of change within our communities, helping to drive forward prosperity and growth, and the National Horizons Centre plays a major part in this.


“The bioscience sector is a huge part of the Tees Valley’s economy, providing numerous skilled jobs and exciting opportunities for local people.


“We were delighted to welcome Jeremy to the National Horizons Centre and showcase how we are helping futureproof this industry by providing it with a viable pipeline of talent with the skills that are needed to ensure that it continues to grow and prosper”