United Kingdom - Washington Business Centre has welcomed a new international business as its latest tenant, thanks to its facilities, connectivity and location.

The Washington Academy for Management of Technology (WAMOT) is a new consultancy and training company specialising in executive education that brings together both Western and Eastern business practices and ideas. The company employs 14 people, with around a third permanently based in its new Sunderland headquarters and others working in London and abroad.

WAMOT director Thorben Haenel said: “We provide executive training, education and consultancy with a focus on technology, innovation and ‘West meets East’ – integrating Western management theories with Eastern philosophy.”

Professor John Child, Honorary Dean of WAMOT, added: “Asia, in particular China and India are growing, and this is of interest to corporates and non-corporates. It’s important that everybody gets an understanding of what kind of impact this will have on their business and institutions. It is vital for the future of the world that West meets East on the basis of mutual understanding and learning rather than the contrary. The vision of WAMOT is to provide a platform to develop this understanding and promote the learning dialogue between the West and East.”


Cllr Harry Trueman, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council and Thorben Haenel of WAMOT

The idea for WAMOT can be traced back to a group of senior academics led by the former University of Sunderland academic, Professor Richard Li-Hua, now President of SIAS International University in China.

“We have strong links to China and the US, with an existing network to different businesses and academics abroad. We are looking to expand our work with corporate clients and also governmental institutions,” said Professor Tony Dickson, President of WAMOT, who spent 25 years in senior management of UK universities, most notably as Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Northumbria University Newcastle.

WAMOT organises seminars, courses and training in the UK as well as working with clients overseas. The connectivity of Washington Business Centre, in addition to the management team’s close ties to the region, was one of the key reasons why the business chose the base. The £6m purpose-built centre is based at the entrance to Turbine Business Park and has excellent access to the A19 and A1231.

“It was ideal for us with its location close to Newcastle International Airport, the motorway and in general the triangle of Newcastle, Durham and Sunderland,” said Mr Haenel.

“It was the most appropriate package for us. There is an excellent infrastructure and good accessibility. It is a fantastic business centre. It is clear they want to refresh the business mentality in the North East and provide a platform for companies to establish and grow.”

Washington Business Centre was purpose-built for Sunderland City Council with support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). It opened for business in April. The centre is expected to sustain or create more than 200 jobs across a mix of 24 office spaces, 13 workshops and seven hybrid units. The two-storey building also has two meeting rooms and plenty of free on-site parking.

Councillor Harry Trueman, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome WAMOT into Washington Business Centre.

“As the company discovered, Sunderland is an excellent location for new and growing enterprises with a range of excellent accommodation, and active support from our business investment team.

“Washington Business Centre is ideally placed for businesses that rely on good connectivity and transport links for their clients visiting the North East. I am looking forward to seeing WAMOT’s expansion, both here in the region and with its overseas clients, from its headquarters in Sunderland.”

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