The next phase of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre01 May 2015
The University of Sheffield has submitted a masterplan for the next phase of its Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, further enhancing its reputation as an international leader in high value manufacturing.
- New 1.3 million square metre site for advanced manufacturing research could create up to 1,800 new jobs and bring £72.4 million to the local economy
- Masterplan a step towards the development of the UK's first Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District
In 2014, the University signed a deal to secure 50 acres of land at Sheffield Business Park, paving the way for the expansion of the AMRC and building on its success at the neighbouring Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP).
Plans have now been submitted to Sheffield City Council for 1.3 million square feet of new buildings at the former airport site, which, according to calculations by leading economic consultants Oxford Economics, could create up to 1,800 new jobs and provide an annual direct contribution of up to £74.2 million to the local economy.
Construction is already underway on the first project on the site, the £43m Factory 2050, which will be the UK's first fully reconfigurable assembly and component manufacturing facility for collaborative research.
Other new research buildings could include the £30m National Material Institute, which is part of the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials announced in December, a £20m Fast Make Centre of Excellence and a possible Energy 2050 carbon capture research development.
The masterplan is a step towards the development of the UK's first Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District - which could become one of Europe's largest research-led advanced manufacturing cluster, centred on the M1 corridor near Sheffield and Rotherham, and already home to the AMRC's facilities at the AMP.
Innovation Districts combine research institutions, innovative firms and business incubators with the benefits of urban living. Unlike traditional science parks, these districts cluster cutting-edge research in geographic areas that are liveable, walkable, bike-able, and transit connected.
The AMRC's Executive Dean, Professor Keith Ridgway CBE, said the masterplan will lead to a step change in the University of Sheffield's ability to work in partnership with some of the world's leading companies.
"We already have fantastic relationships with a number of leading aerospace and engineering companies and we've proved over the last decade that there is an enormous appetite from industry for the innovative work we do here," said Professor Ridgway.
"The submission of the masterplan is another step towards significant expansion that will put the AMRC in an even stronger position to transform research into practical applications which offer high tech solutions right across the manufacturing sector.
"If we are successful in our other plans for the Sheffield Business Park site, it will act as a catalyst for the development of an Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District, bringing more leading manufacturers to the region, re-enforcing its place as an international leader in high value manufacturing."