Presentation to local employers marks a milestone in HiVE project.

Coleg Gwent and Blaenau Gwent County Council partnered to showcase plans for the new HiVE facility in Ebbw Vale before asking employers to join the HiVE Advisory Board.

HiVE is a collaborative venture between Blaenau Gwent County Council, Coleg Gwent, and industry partners. The facility aims to provide cutting-edge training and education in robotics, advanced materials and manufacturing, and digital and enabling technologies.

Left to Right: Dan Lockett, Dan Wooldridge, Tara Lane, John Sexton, John Morgan, Bill Peaper.

With a substantial investment of over £12 million secured from the Welsh Government’s Tech Valleys programme and the UK Government, the 21,808 sq ft HiVE facility will breathe new life into the former Monwel Hankinson Building on Letchworth Road.

The presentation, which took place on January 31st, highlighted the new technologies and manufacturing equipment set to take centre stage at HiVE and the importance of collaboration between academia and industry.

After the presentation, the Chair of the HiVE Advisory Board – Bill Peaper welcomed questions from local businesses in attendance and expressed interest in forming an advisory board that could facilitate ongoing dialogue between academia and industry, bringing valuable insights and perspectives.

The presentation generated positive interest among local businesses, with the discussion covering the benefits for the economy in Blaenau Gwent and Wales as a whole.

John Sexton, Assistant Principal at Coleg Gwent said: “The local economy requires more professionals with expertise in STEM fields. As we prepare to train the future workforce in specialist digital technologies and advanced manufacturing, we are keen to hear from employers about how they can help us develop skilled talent in the region and bridge the existing skills gaps.

“The HiVE Advisory Board will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of HiVE and bridge the gap between academic learning and industry needs. We’re looking forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”

Councillor John Morgan, Cabinet Member, Place & Regeneration and Economic Development at Blaenau Gwent Council said: “This is such an exciting project that has been facilitated by the council and it was great to welcome the representatives from the business community to get an update on the plans for the new HiVE facility.

“This fantastic new facility will help develop the next generation of engineers giving young people access to the skills they need for well-paid careers in the industries of the future.  

“It is vital that we have a pipeline of talented young people to build a high technology hub in Blaenau Gwent and the valleys in general and to attract inward investors to use the skills developed through the HiVE project.’

The state-of-the-art facility will house high-quality teaching spaces, including classrooms, study areas, and workshops, capable of accommodating up to 600 students.

Local primary and secondary schools across the Blaenau Gwent region will also benefit from HiVE, with opportunities for guest lectures and demonstrations aimed at providing real-world experiences beyond traditional classroom settings. Businesses will also have access to the facility to build and deliver products that will be used in the marketplace.

The building work for HiVE is scheduled to welcome students, including those enrolled in engineering courses at Coleg Gwent, from Autumn 2024.

For more information and to express interest in joining the HiVE Advisory Board, please contact Tara Lane: