Introducing Factory 2050

Factory 2050

We open the doors to the World's first totally reconfigurable £43m Factory 2050.

I was delighted in the first week of December 2015, to accept practical completion on behalf of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing having successfully taken possession of its new £43 million state-of-the-art research factory, to meet the future needs of aerospace and other high-value manufacturing industries.

The AMRC Factory 2050 will be the UK’s first fully reconfigurable assembly and component manufacturing facility for collaborative research, capable of rapidly switching production between different high-value components and one-off parts providing a home in Sheffield for the research and demonstration work associated with building the next generation of aircraft and energy technologies.

I have had the pleasure of working with our main contractor Interserve Construction on this project and without fail they have been crucial in the successful delivery of this World Class facility built to time, to budget and to exceptionally high standards. The customer service they provide is exemplary within the industry.
Our professional lead design team comprising of Gardiner & Theobald (Employers Agents / PM), Rex Procter (Commercial Managers), Curtins (Structural & Civils), RPS (Building Services) and Bond Bryan Building Surveying (Clerk of Works) have been great team players and display a can-do attitude when approaching the issues and challenges that construction throws up.

The AMRC Factory 2050 will be the UK’s first fully reconfigurable assembly and component manufacturing facility for collaborative research

Andy Fallon - Head of Estates Development

Bond Bryan Architects principle designer Darren Southgate together with project architect Jon Rigby have designed a building fitting of a World leading integrated and inspirational manufacturing environment. Their emphasis on aesthetics as well as sustainability with a design which meets the project brief but which also in the spirit of excellence exceeds my expectations.

The University of Sheffield's AMRC Factory 2050 will combine technologies including advanced robotics, flexible automation, unmanned workspace, off-line programming in virtual environments linked to plug-and-play robotics, 3D printing from flexible automated systems, man-machine interfaces, and new programming and training tools. Around 50 researchers and engineers will work in the new facility.

Can't wait to see it?  See the amazing photographs online - All images (c) Bond Bryan Architects

A brief glimpse...

Factory 2050 Factory 2050
Factory 2050 Factory 2050
Factory 2050

See the rest of the photos online here

All images (c) Bond Bryan Architects

Looking back

This is how the project details were shared with the world:

The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing’s revolutionary £43 million Factory 2050 is taking shape on Sheffield Business Park as construction workers start to erect the structural steelwork.

Factory 2050 will be the UK’s first totally reconfigurable, digital factory, built to respond to an increasing requirement for advanced manufacturers to be able to make rapid changes to product design, as a result of ever-changing customer demands. It is designed so that machines and manufacturing modules can easily be moved around the shop floor.

Factory 2050 will be the first building on a new Advanced Manufacturing Campus, which could see the University build up to a million square feet of new research facilities at Sheffield Business Park over the next 10 years.

The development also begins another step towards the development of the region’s recently announced Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District. This will be 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 Advanced Manufacturing Park (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.

Fitting out of both the Factory 2050’s research block and workshop is due to begin early in May, with completion of the whole project scheduled for the end of 2015. Once it is operating, Factory 2050 will employ 50 people, which could grow to more than 75. An even more significant number of jobs are expected to be created by companies wanting to locate nearby.

The University and AMRC were recently visited by US expert Bruce Katz, leading global commentator on Innovation Districts who believes advanced manufacture is key to the future economies of cities and countries. Bruce Katz is now working closely with the University of Sheffield to develop the concept of Innovation Districts and advanced manufacturing in the UK.

AMRC Executive Dean, Professor Keith Ridgway CBE, said: "We want Factory 2050 to be the most advanced factory in the world and part of our long-term development of high value manufacturing – an area where this region has an international lead.  

“The development will ensure that the UK’s advanced manufacturing supply chain can tap into the expertise it needs to make the most of those trends. Factory 2050 has also been designed to make young people enthusiastic about following a career in advanced manufacturing.”


The University of Sheffield's Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Keith Burnett said: "Factory 2050 will be world-leading in advanced manufacturing and build on our powerful partnerships with global companies and the high-tech supply chains which work with them. We are proud of the role we are playing in the UK economy. We believe that the UK has the talent and determination to build and export major high-value products to the world. Factory 2050 and the Innovation District will allow this to happen.

He added: "We are also confident that we can help design and manufacture the transport, medical technologies and energy of the future here in the UK, and along the way create the skills and wealth which are central to the nation's economy. The fact that companies such as Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Hitachi and Microsoft are involved in this activity speaks volumes for what has already been achieved and our ambitious vision for the next decade and beyond."

Planning permission granted for Factory 2050

  • £43 million building will combine a range of state-of-the-art technology
  • Factory 2050 will make Sheffield the heart of manufacturing in the UK and on the global stage

Plans to create a centre of excellence for advanced manufacturing at Sheffield Business Park have taken a big step forward as Sheffield City Council approved plans for Factory 2050.

Factory 2050The £43 million stunning circular building will combine a range of technologies, including advanced robotics, flexible automation, unmanned workspace, off-line printing in virtual environments linked to plug-and-play robotics, 3D printing from flexible automated systems, man-machine interfaces, and new programming and training tools.

The state of the art development will be built by the University of Sheffield, consolidating the success of their investment in the original Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre on the Advanced Manufacturing Park at Catcliffe. Since the first University building opened there in 2004, four further new buildings and two extensions have been added to provide a current total of around 30,000 sq. m of accommodation.

The new location – sited directly opposite the existing developments on the other side of the
Parkway – will help to secure Sheffield’s place at the heart of advanced manufacturing in the UK and
as a key player on the global stage.

Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts, whose constituency includes the Business Park, said he was fully behind the new development.

“Over the last decade we’ve seen the enormous impact of the University’s active involvement in advanced manufacturing, creating high quality jobs and hundreds of new opportunities for apprenticeships, as well as attracting some of the world’s best known aerospace and engineering companies to work and invest here.

Inside Factory 2050“The planning approval represents a real step forward in moving this vital activity to the next level, and giving the City Region the opportunity to further its reputation as a leading force in advanced manufacturing, not just at UK level, but on the global stage. The application now requires final approval by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and the City Region MPs have collectively written to him to urge a speedy turnaround so that construction can begin as soon as possible on this innovative development.”

Graham Sadler, Managing Director at Sheffield Business Park, said the planning approval was great news for the wider 50-acre Phase 2 development site, which already has planning consent.

“We’re working hard to make sure that we create the right environment to attract inward investment from high quality businesses, bringing real jobs to the region. The construction of Factory 2050 will send out a clear message of our ambition to maximise the benefit to the City Region of this vital location. Individual sites on the remainder of Phase 2 will be available this autumn and plans are well underway for the speculative development of four high quality production units. These are due for completion in mid-2015, building on the University’s vote of confidence in Sheffield Business Park.”

The University of Sheffield has already signed a deal to secure a total of 50 acres of land at the business park – a move which will support the progress of exciting plans to create a critical mass of
hi-tech, advanced manufacturing businesses along the Parkway corridor.

A detailed master plan for the entire 50 acres will be submitted to Sheffield City Council’s planning department in the next few months.

What's happening on site? The unfolding story...

Photographs by Courtesy of South Yorkshire Police

Factory 2050

Factory 2050

Factory 2050

Factory 2050

Factory 2050

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