RTC marks 35 years delivering impact across the North of England

26th Apr 2024

RTC North, a leading provider of innovation and business support services for small companies, proudly celebrates its 35th anniversary this month.

Since its inception in 1989 as the Regional Technology Centre for the Northeast and Cumbria, the company has broadened its reach across the wider North with 110 employees now working with local businesses from the Humber to North Wales and up to the Borders.

Founded in the wake of the decline in heavy industries, a national network of Regional Technology Centres was established to help manufacturing companies find new customers, adopt new technology and protect and create jobs. Today, RTC’s coaches and consultants work directly with over 1000 Northern businesses each year to help them innovate, access new markets around the world and grow.

In addition, RTC’s education team is working to solve the UK’s skills challenge. The team taps into the company’s links to business and industry to deliver activity to over 76,000 young people each year, inspiring them to take STEM subjects in their options and also to raise awareness of potential careers in the industries of the future.

Every year the company runs large STEMfest events in West Yorkshire, Tees Valley and Northeast England, each one attended by over 2,500 local students and 100 businesses large and small.

Over the past 35 years, RTC has supported over 30,000 small businesses, facilitated the inception of over 10,000 jobs, raised funds exceeding £500 million, and fostered the development of 2000+ innovative products and services.

Additionally, for the last two decades, RTC, through the STEM Hub, has been at the forefront of STEM education, impacting 76,000 students annually and engaging more than 1.2 million students overall.

The business was set up by computer programmer, Gordon Ollivere MBE, who founded the company as an independent not-for-profit business that would deliver maximum impact for economic development agencies looking to drive growth by supporting innovative businesses.

Today his son, Jamie Ollivere is Chief Executive. He said:

“I was 14 when Dad set this company up so I have seen firsthand the dedication and sacrifice that goes into setting up and growing a business. RTC’s success and longevity have been down to employing credible people who really care about what they are doing and the clients they work with. Everyone who works for us buys into what the company stands for. I believe this is why we have become a trusted partner for clients and commissioners of economic development initiatives, whether in business or education.”

As RTC North commemorates its 35th anniversary milestone, the company reaffirms its commitment to driving innovation, fostering collaboration, and empowering businesses to thrive in an ever-changing business environment.

RTC Founder and Life President, Gordon, added:

"RTC North has doubled in size since my retirement in 2016. In my day the focus was primarily on making connections between North East industry and the research base.  Nowadays the company’s remit is much wider and its presence in other UK regions is far stronger. 

“It gives me enormous pride and pleasure to see the way in which RTC North has developed over the years which is totally down to the quality of its people."

You can keep up to date with RTC via LinkedIn

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