Published on 10 April 2020
An innovation centre being developed in Sunderland is to be repurposed as NHS Nightingale North East.
The site, announced by Government today (10 April), is at the heart of the city’s International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP). As a location for the temporary hospital, it is easily accessible by key road networks and is not yet functioning as the proposed Centre for Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (CeSAM), a project that is being led by the University of Sunderland.
Sir David Bell, University of Sunderland Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, said: “The University fully supports the Government’s decision to convert the proposed Centre for Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (CeSAM) into a Nightingale hospital for the north-east.
“This recently-completed and large building is ideally placed to create additional capacity for the region’s hospitals. Bringing it into use in this way will further support our NHS as it continues to expand its sterling work caring for patients affected by Covid-19.
“As a University, we are doing all we can to support the incredible work of the NHS in its fight against Covid-19. Getting the pandemic under control is the priority now and NHS Nightingale North East will make an excellent contribution to that effort.
"Looking to the future, we remain fully committed to developing the Centre for Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing in Sunderland. Indeed, the work of CeSAM will be even more important as it supports research and development across the advanced manufacturing sector and creates much-needed new jobs and opportunities.”
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, added: “Sunderland is proud to have been able to support our friends and colleagues in the NHS to ensure that the north-east’s needs are met, as the nation steps up its efforts to tackle Covid-19.”
The hospital will be operated by Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who will treat patients from across the north-east.
Future collaboration between the University of Sunderland, the City Council, North East LEP and other regional stakeholders, will support the growth of CeSAM. The innovation centre is set to develop the capacity to support economic growth and create job opportunities in sustainable advanced manufacturing.
Sunderland City Council’s Leader confirmed that the council will continue to work closely with partners to advance plans for the innovation centre to be ready once its use as a temporary hospital has concluded. Partners include the North East Automotive Alliance; key automotive and advanced manufacturing companies in the city and wider region; regional universities including the University of Sunderland and Newcastle University with their respective lead roles in CeSAM and Driving the Electrical Revolution (DER); the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and innovation partners.