Ambitious plans to support the region’s healthcare needs have been unveiled at an event showcasing Teesside University’s new £36.9m BIOS facility.

The newly opened BIOS, which boasts four floors of cutting-edge facilities for the science and clinical subjects, will transform the way health provision is delivered at Teesside University through digital and immersive learning.

State-of-the-art facilities include immersive simulation suites, operating theatres and a digital anatomy facility, enhancing the teaching and learning environment.

Teesside’s commitment to train the next generation of health professionals has been further strengthened with the announcement of the University’s intention to bid for a new medical school for the Tees Valley.

Speaking at the showcase event for BIOS, Teesside University’s Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor Paul Croney OBE, shared the University’s vision to establish a new medical school.

Professor Croney OBE, said: “As an anchor institution, Teesside is firmly focused on addressing the challenges experienced within our region. Health inequalities, including a lack of access to healthcare, make a considerable impact on not simply the health of individuals, but the health of our regional economy. It is imperative that this is rebalanced.

“I am proud to confirm our strategic intent to further growing our health, clinical and medical offer at Teesside University and can confirm that we are working closely with our partners and professional bodies to prepare a case for a new medical school.

“BIOS underpins this ambition and demonstrates the scale of our commitment to providing the NHS workforce of the future and continuing to transform lives and economies.”

Facilities at BIOS include a simulation suite to re-create emergency scenarios, replicas of both home and hospital settings, and super-labs for immersive learning.

With over 5,000 square metres of bespoke teaching space, BIOS also houses an oral health laboratory, food science and food technology laboratories with industry-standard equipment, a clinical hospital ward and a biology suite.

The building, delivered by Wates Construction, is solely used by students, with no staff offices and all spaces dedicated to learning.

Professor Tim Thompson, Dean of Teesside University’s School of Health & Life Sciences, said: “BIOS is more than just a building – it is a state-of the-art facility and a real game-changer in terms of our health, medical and science provision.

“This was our ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ to provide a unique digital offer that will equip our students with the skills, experience and expertise to flourish within the sector.

“We are incredibly proud of what BIOS offers and delighted to see our students now taking advantage of the fantastic new facilities.”

Teesside University has an outstanding reputation for healthcare provision, with students going on to successful careers within the regional and national healthcare sector. It also has a vast number of strategic partnerships with healthcare providers and NHS Trusts, enabling more opportunities for students and providing a pipeline of talent in a wide range of disciplines.

BIOS is the latest development to be completed as part of Teesside University’s ambitious Campus Masterplan, which has seen £280m invested in recent years to enhance the campus and facilities and provide the very best student and learning experience.