‘Local powerhouse’ call after HETA boss reveals organisation entirely self-funded £5.5m training facility

The head of a leading engineering training organisation has called for businesses to create their own “local powerhouse” after welcoming employers and learners to a new £5.5 million skills centre.

Iain Elliott, chief executive of Humberside Engineering Training Centre (HETA), revealed that the new facility at Pioneer Business Park in Stallingborough was entirely self-funded – using reserves and a bank loan in the absence of any government support. He added that the “home grown” nature of the project reinforced HETA’s commitment to ensure as much work as possible went to local and regional businesses, while the end result will equip the next generation with the skills industry in the area requires.

Around 80 representatives of local businesses and national companies were welcomed to tour the new centre, which is purpose-built and provides facilities for electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and fabrication and welding, with an IT suite, classrooms and meeting rooms.

Read more: Oil refinery unites with training provider to deliver highly skilled apprenticeships

He told guests: “The financial investment by HETA should not be overlooked. We did this at a time of no grant funding, no public funding. We relied on our reserves that we have built up over the years and on borrowing. Santander has again been very supportive. The bank and our trustees recognised that a project like this is vital for building the educational needs of the region and for the employers.”

Hull-based construction company Hobson & Porter built the new facility, and figures collated by HETA show that of the total construction cost of £4.2 million, just over £3 million was for works carried out by businesses within 30 miles of the site, £3.4 million was spent with businesses within 40 miles and £3.9 million within 50 miles. Just over 42 per cent of the work was carried out by trades local to Grimsby and Immingham, and 37.4 per cent of work was completed by trades local to Hull.

With the addition of the land purchase price, fees and VAT the total cost of the project hit £5.5 million and was on budget.

Iain said: “We were only two weeks late and we’re not too worried about that given the impact of exiting Covid and war in Ukraine, with material costs soaring and supply of materials and labour both major issues. When the learners were ready to come in, we were ready to open.”

Iain Elliott, chief executive of HETA, at the new Stallingborough training facility.
Iain Elliott, chief executive of HETA, at the new Stallingborough training facility.

He added that HETA is now eager to welcome other businesses to its location at the heart of North East Lincolnshire Council’s £42m South Humber Industrial Investment Programme (SHIIP) area, which is being promoted as a major industrial development opportunity. It has joined Myenergi on the Immingham and Grimsby gateway site.

He said: “Hopefully we will start seeing construction activity on some of the nearby sites. I really do want to see these pockets of land transformed and generating that local investment. People talk about the Northern Powerhouse but we need to build our own local powerhouse because the spend will stay within the area. Our figures from this project show how we used the local supply chain.”

Ian Palmer, recently appointed as chair of HETA, said the new centre itself will help to drive the local powerhouse concept.

He said: “It’s a centre that’s owned by HETA but our view is it belong to the employers and is here to serve their needs and requirements. They will be investing in young people who will be coming here for their first experience of the engineering world and hopefully that will set them up for their careers.

“It’s not just about training and skills – it’s about developing individuals and maximising their potential. Our investment here is to make sure we can offer people the best experience and help them be the best they can be. None of that happens without the employers.”

Original artice – https://business-live.co.uk/all-about/yorkshire-humber

Scroll to Top