Councils join forces to attract more advanced manufacturers at global conference

23 September 2015

External view of Magna 300 x 200

Sheffield and Rotherham Councils are teaming up to attract more advanced manufacturing to the area.

The council's economic development arms - Creative Sheffield and RiDO - have joined forces as Gold Sponsors of TRAM 2015, the international advanced manufacturing conference and exhibition, which takes place at the Magna Science Adventure Centre this autumn.

The Councils hope to spark interest in plans to create an Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District spanning their borders among delegates from top global advanced manufacturing companies, attending TRAM.

Delegates will get an insight into the potential for business development when they travel on council sponsored shuttle buses between their hotels and the event and during promotional tours of the region.

Councillor Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for business, skills and development at Sheffield City Council, said: "I look forward to discussing our plans for an Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District with delegates at TRAM.

"Our unrivalled connection of industry and research-led innovation at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) has already been a force for the agglomeration of advanced manufacturing and technology firms.

"And this critical mass of expertise and experience presents the UK with a unique opportunity to create an Innovation District of global significance, where we can design and make the next generation of whole industries.

"The innovation and expertise is already here in Sheffield and Rotherham, and ready to be built upon, to create an Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District of huge importance regionally, nationally and globally."

Rotherham Council's Advisory Cabinet Member for Housing and the Local Economy Cllr Denise Lelliott said Rotherham had a proven track-record of business success and innovation.

She added: "We have a host of attractions for business - not least available land and property within an Enterprise Zone. From our award winning business centres to the UK's Premier Advanced Manufacturing Park, businesses will discover a borough that is totally committed to manufacturing.

"Even during the economic downturn, Rotherham businesses have continued to manufacture and export goods and services, investment has been secured, and companies have expanded.

"Rotherham is continually evolving, attracting world class investment and growing its manufacturing base by providing quality commercial opportunities for the people and businesses of the borough."

The Innovation District proposed by the Councils includes the Advanced Manufacturing Park, where the AMRC is based and Sheffield Business Park, where Factory 2050, its landmark, glass-walled reconfigurable, digital factory, is due to be completed at around the time of the TRAM event.

Boeing 777-8X & 777-9X Artwork

The District is also home to globally renowned companies operating in materials technology, engineering and the advanced manufacturing supply chain, including Rolls-Royce, Alcoa, Tata, Outokumpu, Sheffield Forgemasters International and Siemens.

Around 112,000 square metres of industrial floor-space is currently available at the heart of the Innovation District area.

Recent research shows that 2,300 direct jobs could be created if that space was developed, increasing Gross Value Added - a key indicator of economic health - by £110 million a year.

The same research suggests local spending by companies coming to the District and their employees could lead to the creation of a further 1,300 jobs and generate a further £60 million of GVA.

AMRC executive dean, Professor Keith Ridgway CBE, said: "Plans to develop an Innovation District, incorporating the AMRC, the Advanced Manufacturing Park, Sheffield Business Park and local businesses will reinforce this region's role as the UK's leading location for advanced manufacturing.

"TRAM provides an ideal opportunity to promote the District and the region's skills to a truly global audience of people at the forefront of advanced manufacturing, as both Sheffield and Rotherham Councils have realised."

TRAM will increase direct spending by conference visitors to both Sheffield and Rotherham, not long after a UK Conference and Meeting Survey showed that delegates to conferences spent £132.6 million in Sheffield in 2014, up from £117.3 million in 2013.

TRAM was started in 2009 by the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and is returning to South Yorkshire after taking place alongside the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago for several years.

TRAM 2015 is presented by the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, the Association for Manufacturing Technology, Gardner Business Media and the Royal Aeronautical Society.

It takes place on November 10 and 11, at the Magna Science Adventure Centre, Sheffield Road, Templeborough, Rotherham, S60 1DX.

For more information and to register to attend, visit: www.tramconference.com.

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