Royce Discovery Centre

The Royce Discovery Centre is an innovative, research-focused building for the Faculty of Engineering.



As a major partner of The Henry Royce Institute, the University of Sheffield has been awarded £34 million to fund the commercialisation of fundamental research into advanced metals processing. This is one of two facilities built for this purpose, the first being the Royce Translational Centre.

The centres will help us build on the University’s advanced manufacturing capabilities and transfer our knowledge and expertise to local industry – our engineers will use the research from the Royce Discovery Centre to evolve novel materials and processing techniques, making them accessible for trial by industry.

There will be a mixture of laboratory spaces and a double-height workshop area. The Centre will house a combination of Henry Royce Institute capability and Materials Science and Engineering equipment currently located in the Sir Robert Hadfield Building.

For the first time, the business community will be able to access a custom built space with state-of-the-art equipment for powder manufacturing and processing, enabling them to investigate the feasibility of using new technologies without needing to invest in their own equipment.

The centre will be based in a new building - named after the renowned Sheffield metallurgist Harry Brearley. Despite the huge challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, construction has been completed on the Harry Brearley Building on Portobello Street - in the heart of the University of Sheffield’s campus. 

Project details

  • Project Manager: Ian Longhorn, Department of Estates and Facilities Management
  • Email:
  • Telephone: +44 114 222 9046 or +44 7858 986 345
  • Architects: Bond Bryan Architects
  • Timescale: Summer 2018 – early 2020


A computer generated image of the exterior of the Royce Discovery Centre

View more designs


13 July 2020: We have achieved practical completion of the building.

Past news
  • 10 April 2020: Work begins on site under social distancing restrictions.
  • March 2020: Work is currently suspended on site due to the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. We will keep you updated as the situation changes.
  • 3 June 2019: construction works progressing well and remain on programme for planned completion early next year. Foundations and sub structure works have been completed and superstructure including the formation of stairwell and lift shafts, and structural columns have progressed up to first floor level. Ground floor concrete floor slabs have been cast as well as the first floor mezzanine floor level slab and the first floor structure commenced on site this week. The tower crane remains on site in full operation supporting the construction activities.
  • 1 April 2019: A tower crane for the construction of the Royce Discovery Centre will be delivered to the site next week (w/k commencing Monday 1 April). The mobile crane for erecting the tower crane will be delivered on Monday. There will be a number of deliveries including one articulated lorry delivery at 4.30am on Tuesday 2 April. These deliveries will not affect Portobello Street. The crane will be erected on site on Tuesday. Please contact the Project Manager Richard Parr if you have any questions:
  • October-November 2018: Trenching work has been ongoing and soon demolition and piling work will begin.
  • 6 August 2018: From early this week, some roads will be closed for the duration of the project. Click here for more information.
  • July 2018: Henry Boot Construction appointed as main contractor for the Royce Discovery Centre.
  • June 2018: Preparations have started on site.
  • May 2018: Planning permission granted by Sheffield City Council.

Progress photos

A photo of the outside of the Royce Discovery Centre in construction

View more progress photos

Contact us

For project enquires contact the project manager. For general enquiries, contact the EFM Help Desk.

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