National Horizons Centre

European Regional Development Fund

Who is it for?

The UK bioeconomy supports 5.2m jobs and contributes £220 billion GVA - and its growth potential is huge (Bioscience Facts and Figures, BBSRC, 2017).

The National Horizons Centre (NHC) is a £22m state-of-the-art bioscience education, training, research and innovation facility that directly addresses this growth potential. It will specialise in providing the full range of skills for the biosciences sector and in applying digital technologies to improve performance and productivity and foster breakthrough ideas.

Opening in summer 2019, the NHC will house academics and business development staff from Teesside University, working in partnership with regional, national and international industry players including Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies and the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) to provide specialist education, training and professional development for the current and future workforce, and to promote industry-focused innovation and research.


The NHC will play a pivotal role in tackling the rapid growth challenges facing the sector by collaborating with industry partners, addressing skills needs and creating and providing access to world-class research and facilities that enable new discoveries and opportunities.


The NHC exists to:

  • create a pipeline of graduate talent, relevant to industry needs
  • design and deliver industry-informed programmes to address the technical, leadership and digital skills needs of the workforce
  • develop an internationally competitive applied research and development capability that drives innovation
  • provide industry with access to specialised world-class facilities supporting new ideas and learning.


Located at Darlington’s Central Park, alongside the Centre for Process Innovation’s National Biologics Manufacturing Centre and the University’s Centre for Professional and Executive Development, the NHC sits next to the East Coast Main Line, placing it two and a half hours from London by rail, and within easy access of the A1 and three regional airports.

‘The National Horizons Centre will be a beacon of all we are good at here in the Tees Valley. Our rich history of innovation, research and development is set to continue thanks to this state-of-the-art facility in Darlington. The new economy will be built on biologics and digital – key sectors we need to support. This massive £17.5m commitment, the single biggest investment we have made so far, is testament to the importance we have placed on securing jobs for the future. Helping Teesside University to achieve academic excellence is a major strand of my wider education and training plans. I look forward to continuing to work with the University and its partners as they deliver the high-quality skills training needed to build a Tees Valley fit for the future.’

Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor

Staff profiles

The NHC has been financially supported by Tees Valley Combined Authority and the European Regional Development Fund.

European Regional Development Fund


Find out more

If you're interested in what the NHC could do for your business, we'd like to hear from you.


Find us

National Horizons Centre
38 John Dixon Lane