Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tycoon Sets Up Fund to Boost Engineering

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tycoon Sets Up Fund to Boost Engineering

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Scott Reporter

ANORTHUMBERLAND entrepreneur is using money from the sale of his multimillionpound company to help young people get into engineering.

Tony Platten, chairman and owner of Blyth-based business Tynetec, has joined with the Community Foundation to create the Platten Family Fund with his wife Anne.

Mr Platten, who sold his electronic engineering company to the French multi-national company Legrand Electric at the start of this year, said he hoped the PS100,000-a-year fund would encourage young people to consider engineering as a career.

"There's no way I could have spent that money," said Mr Platten, of Blyth in Northumberland. "My wife and I have no ambition to have somewhere in the likes of Monte Carlo to go to three times a year.

"I have always supported various charities with Tynetec over the years and it seemed like the logical thing to do."

The fund will support education and training projects across Tyne and Wear and Northumberland, making the Plattens the latest family to open a philanthropic fund at the Community Foundation.

Through the fund, the family will support the region with around PS100,000 in grant-making a year to help people into employment, with a particular focus on engineering. "It is going to be PS100,000 a year for the foreseeable future," said Mr Platten, who is also chairman of Blyth Spartans AFC. "The primary aim of the fund is to try and get young people interested in all forms of engineering, but also to make them think of engineering as a career.

"There's going to be a colossal shortage of engineers in the future - this is my little attempt to help."

The Royal Academy of Engineering estimates that 830,000 graduate-level Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) experts and 450,000 technicians will be needed by 2020, and it is hoped that funding from the Platten Family Fund will go some way to encouraging people to consider engineering as a career move.

Mr Platten, who started his company as a corner shop 35 years ago, said: "Anne and I are delighted to establish charitable funds at the Community Foundation. …

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