TEES Valley Mayor Ben Houchen was given a tour of a leading research centre, which works with small companies through to world leaders.

The Materials Processing Institute in Middlesbrough has specialist metals research laboratories and pilot plant facilities that serve the materials, processing and energy sectors.

It provides research and development based services and consultancy to help SMEs and supply chain companies develop new technologies and products.

The institute works with a number of world leading steel companies, having recently welcomed delegates from industry giants Thyssenkrupp and voestalpine AG to its facilities.

It also supports the innovative research and development of British Steel’s rail and construction products, having secured a multimillion pound, five-year deal with the company last year.

Mr Houchen said: “The Materials Processing Institute is an example of the world-class organisations here in the Tees Valley that are at the cutting-edge of industry.

“It was fascinating to learn more about the amazing research and development projects that are supporting not only our own businesses here in the Tees Valley, but companies across the world.

“We should be proud that a research centre of this calibre is based here in the Tees Valley.”

Chris McDonald, chief executive, said: “We were delighted to host Mr Houchen for a tour of our campus and facilities, and to demonstrate our research and development capabilities, which have supported many of the region’s SMEs, as well as leading steel companies across the world.”