Sheffield establishes new partnerships with McLaren and Boeing
In February 2017 two of the world’s leading manufacturers announced new partnerships with the University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) to expand their research and development here, as well as to bring their manufacturing to the Sheffield City Region.
The first announcement came from the luxury sports car producer McLaren Automotive that it will open a new purpose-built ‘Composites Technology Centre’ in the North of England’s Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District – a world-class centre of manufacturing excellence within the Sheffield City Region.
The Composites Technology Centre will be responsible for the development and manufacturing of advanced carbon fibre chassis for McLaren Automotive’s supercars. The partnership will create more than 200 jobs through a combined investment of nearly £50 million, and is expected to provide a £100 million boost to the economy.
Less than a fortnight later the announcement was followed by the news that Boeing, the co-founder of the AMRC along with the University, was to open a brand new manufacturing facility alongside the AMRC – Boeing’s first manufacturing facility in Europe.
The facility, to be named Boeing Sheffield, will enable Boeing to bring the manufacture of key high-tech actuation components and systems used in Boeing’s Next-Generation 737, 737 MAX and 777 aircraft in-house, enhancing production efficiency and reducing costs.
Professor Keith Ridgway, Executive Dean of the AMRC said:
“It has always been our ambition that one day Boeing would open a manufacturing facility in Sheffield. This announcement is the culmination of a successful relationship that has developed since the AMRC with Boeing was founded 16 years ago.”
In the past 16 years, the University of Sheffield’s AMRC has grown to include over 90 industrial partners from sectors such as aerospace, medical, automotive and construction and has become a model world-wide in how to conduct collaborative research to develop new manufacturing techniques and technologies. The AMRC and its partners are now a central offer for the Sheffield City Region’s Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District.
Professor Sir Keith Burnett, President & Vice-Chancellor of the University, commented:
“Areas such as Sheffield could play a crucial role in a new industrial revolution for the UK, one centred on science and innovation working hand in hand with industry. Post-Brexit, we can only go out into the world if we have something the world needs. And we do. I am deeply proud that Boeing, McLaren and Rolls-Royce recognise that Made in Sheffield is a hallmark of quality for more than cutlery.”
Writing in the Sheffield Star Prime Minister Theresa May said of the news:
“Combining the research expertise of Sheffield University with the craftsmanship and skill of the city’s workforce, along with the drive of local leaders, has created the backdrop to the multi-million pound deals struck with two of the world’s most famous engineering names. It is this ambition and determination that is allowing the world’s first Steel City to forge a new identity. The city’s potential for cutting edge technology and engineering clearly hasn’t been lost on international investors. And it’s not just McLaren and Boeing who have spotted it.”
As well as boosting research and manufacturing these new partnerships will continue the AMRC’s successful apprentice training scheme. The first cohort of McLaren apprentices is already underway with their training, preparing for the new McLaren facility when construction is complete, and join the existing 550 AMRC apprentices.
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