Tuesday, October 17, 2017

News: Metalysis and manufacturing on the Moon

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Innovative technology pioneered in Rotherham by Metalysis has been recognised by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the important role it could play in colonising the Moon.

The Manvers company holds the worldwide exploitation rights to the FCC Cambridge process which sees specialist powder metals created in a simple, cost effective process with significant environmental benefits. It is in the process of commercialising the technology to produce titanium, tantalum, and related high value alloys. These are used increasingly by major worldwide industries such as aerospace, marine, medical, chemical, automotive and electronics.

The agency, which brings together the resources of 22 member states, recently launched a challenge focusing on in-situ resource utilisation (ISRU) which concerns the exploitation of the lunar or asteroid resources enabling the in-situ supply of materials needed for building habitats and potentially empowering human beings to perform activities in space.

Metalysis is involved in a research and development (R&D) project as scientists have found a number of "raw materials" on the Moon which have the potential to be mined and converted into usable materials using the firm's electrochemical process. Lunar ilmenite could be transformed into titanium-iron alloys, lunar anorthite could be reduced to aluminium-silicon alloys, and lunar olivine could be transformed into magnesium-silicon alloys.

The powder alloys, created at much less the cost of current processes, are perfect for 3D printing, opening up the possibility of manufacturing building blocks and moving parts for machines, in-situ, on the Moon, out of moon rocks.

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Backed by investors and grants, the Cambridge University spin out secured £20m of investment last year and has opened a new Materials Discovery Centre on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham where it carries out bespoke, commercial R&D projects to produce exotic metal powders for high performance alloys in the aerospace and automotive industries.

In Manvers the company is completing its "Generation 4" technological expansion, taking production capability to new levels. Following next year is "Generation 5" - manufacturing options for thousands of tonnes per annum of high value metal alloy powders.

At a public ceremony at the end of the recent Global Space Economic Workshop in Paris, Eric Morel de Westgaver, Director for Industry, Procurement and Legal Affairs, at the ESA presented Dr. Dion Vaughan with a certificate naming Metalysis as first ESA "Grand Challenger."

Dr. Dion Vaughan, CEO of Metalysis, said: "An R&D project which contemplates taking our technology and applying it to 3D printing systems in terraforming environments is an ambitious undertaking, enabled by our next phase of scale-up in the UK.

"ESA's focus on developing transferable technologies, with industries offering economic benefits on earth and in space, is an excellent fit for Metalysis as we progress to our Generation 5 project which will showcase multiple modular electrochemical units, adjustable within a Factory of the Future manufacturing scenario."

Metalysis website

Images: Metalysis


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News: Next phase of Vector 31 mapped out

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The next phase of a popular business park in Rotherham is being planned which would help to create hundreds of jobs.

Network Space (formerly known as Langtree) is looking ahead having already delivered over 160,000 sq ft of industrial space across two phases at its Vector 31 development at Waleswood.

"Vector 31 West" could be created on a 8.8 hectare parcel of land to the north of Wales Bar on the west side of Mansfield Road (A618) that the developers want to see come forward for employment use. The site has been backfilled following open cast coal mining operations and development platforms have already been created.

Close to the site of the proposed £37m leisure development adjacent to Rother Valley Country Park, Rotherham Council has already carried out £1.2m of transport improvements to improve access in the area, which is close to Junction 31 of the M1.

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Discussions are continuing between the developers and the Council over using 6.5 hectares of the site, which is alongside the large Greencore facility.

Draft plans have been prepared by Spawforths, the Harris Partnership and WYG, which show a range of industrial units of varying sizes - ten units ranging from 10,750 sq ft to 42,000 sq ft. Earthworks and remediation will be required so any development would come forward in a number of phases.

The plans state: "The site is located within the Waleswood industrial area, which is a major employment site in Rotherham providing job opportunities to the surrounding areas of Aston, Wales, Kiveton and Killarmarsh.

"The site is owned by Network Space Ltd, an experienced commercial real estate investment, development and management group operating across the North and Midlands of England. They own and manage an investment portfolio of over 3 million sq. ft. of modern industrial and office development across 60 locations in the UK.

"The proposals comprise employment development for uses within B1 (b) (c), B2 and B8. The application will submitted in hybrid form with full details provided for earthworks, the first phase of development and main point of access into the site from Mansfield Road. Given the timescales involved in respect of the engineering works and ground remediation required to prepare the site for development for industrial use, permission is sought on a phased basis, with a ten year period to implement any permission granted."

It adds that the proposals would deliver "positive economic growth, substantial inward investment and significant job opportunities for the surrounding local area in a sustainable and highly accessible location."

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The site has been given a draft allocation for employment uses in the emerging Local Plan which also proposed the release of nearby Green Belt land to the North of School Road / Off Waleswood Way behind the cricket pitch, and its allocation for use for business and industry.

Network Space put forward further future phases here but this could be impacted by the realigned route of HS2 which is set to run alongside the M1.

Network Space website

Images: Network Space


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News: Clifton Park remains amongst nation's ten most popular parks

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Clifton Park on the edge of Rotherham town centre has again been voted one of the public's favourites in this year's People's Choice contest.

For the second year running, the popular park is one of just ten in the whole of the UK to be successful in the awards run by Keep Britain Tidy – and this year the only one in Yorkshire.

The Green Flag scheme recognises parks which boast the highest possible standards, are beautifully maintained and have excellent facilities. The People Choice Award is an award voted for by the public and can only be awarded to a park that has already won a Green Flag.

Clifton Park was awarded its seventh Green Flag this summer and the public were once again given the opportunity to vote for it as one of their favourite parks in the UK. A Green Flag Award is a sign to the public that the park boasts the highest possible standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent facilities.

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Cllr. Taiba Yasseen, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Working and Cultural Services at Rotherham Council, said: "As well as all the team of staff who work so hard behind the scenes to make the park so welcoming to visitors, the support of Friends of Clifton Park has been invaluable once again and everyone, from staff and volunteers to our visitors, should be proud of this achievement.

"I would like to say a big thank you to all involved - including those who took the time to vote and helped the park achieve this wonderful accolade."

A record-breaking 73,349 votes decided the nation's favourite parks.

Paul Todd, manager of the International Green Flag Award, said: "Following the success of this summer's #LoveParks Week, the record number of votes for the People's Choice Awards – more than double the number received last year – shows how much their favourite green spaces mean to people.

"Massive congratulations to our ten hugely deserving winners, and all the staff, volunteers and supporters who work so hard to maintain these well-loved green spaces to such a high standard.

"And thank you to the tens of thousands who took the time to vote. Parks matter, and this is further support in our campaign to protect and improve the nation's wonderful green spaces for future generations."

Between 1783 and 1784, Joshua Walker, of the Walker Iron & Steel Works of Masborough, and local architect John Carr, built Clifton House which included stables, outbuildings, dovecotes, fishponds, an icehouse, and wells. Clifton Park was originally laid out as the private grounds of the house, which is now Clifton Park Museum.

When the estate was put up for sale for building plots, Rotherham Council recognised the need for green space in the expanding town and bought 54 acres (22.5ha) for £25,000 in 1891. £5,000 was spent on improvements and the park was opened to the public by the Prince and Princess of Wales on the June 25 1891.

Investment in recent years includes £7.5m in 2009 to bring the walled garden back into use and updating the paddling pool with an innovative splash park. In addition, a play park was designed in consultation with young people with eight separate areas including a skate plaza, sand area, chill out area and an enchanted wood.

Clifton Park website

Images: RMBC


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Monday, October 16, 2017

News: Barnsley and Rotherham Business Award winners 2017

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The region's best in business have been recognised at the "evening of the year" - the 2017 Barnsley and Rotherham Business Awards.

14 businesses, charities and individuals honoured at the prestigious awards ceremony which was once again held at the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham.

Cannon Hall Farm, located near Barnsley, was crowned the Universal Components Business of the Year having been picked out from the evening's category winners.

The ceremony, hosted by BBC Radio Sheffield's Andy Giddings, welcomed 480 guests to celebrate the achievements of the shortlisted individuals and organisations. It was sponsored by RNN Group.

The evening's individual awards were presented to Jacob Fox of Berneslai Homes, winner of the Apprentice of the Year award and Allan Ogle of Hallam FM's Cash for Kids who picked up the Business Person of the Year award. The Chamber presented a special Lifetime Achievement award to Edward Naylor of Naylor Industries PLC for his hard work and devotion to the local community.

Andrew Denniff, chief executive, of the chamber, said: "As always the evening was superb, reflecting all that is best in our Region. My congratulations go out to all of our winners and especially Cannon Hall Farm, the Business of the Year.

"Our guests can certainly say they were part of the "evening of the year" in the Sheffield city region's business calendar and all our shortlisted entrants can congratulate themselves in contributing to another successful event."

This year also saw the Chamber present their Charity of the Year award, sponsored by Fortem, to City Hearts UK, who received £3,000 prize money and will become this year's Chamber Charity of the Year.

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The 2017 Award Winners:

Source Academy Apprentice of the Year Award

Winner – Jacob Fox of Berneslai Homes
Highly Commended – Lucy Cowley of Enzygo Limited
Highly Commended – Liam White of Code Green

SteelPhalt Harsco Business Community Impact Award

Winner – XPO Logistics
Highly Commended – Barnsley College: Raising Aspirations Project
Highly Commended – Hallam FM's Cash for Kids

Brook Corporate Developments Business Growth Award

Winner – Enzygo Limited
Highly Commended – Azzure IT
Highly Commended – Bob's Business Ltd

Impelling Solutions Business Person of the Year Award

Winner – Allan Ogle of Hallam FM’s Cash for Kids
Highly Commended – Hayley Koseoglu of Crystal Clean Service
Highly Commended – Craig Such of Azzure IT

Rotherham College Digital and Creative award

Winner – Hydra Creative
Highly Commended – awesome.
Higly Commended – Euroglaze Ltd

Enzygo Environmental Commitment Award

Winner – Russell Richardson & Sons Ltd
Highly Commended – The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust
Highly Commended – Naylor Industries Plc

SOTpay Excellence in Customer Service Award

Winner – Pyronix Ltd
Highly Commended – Two for Joy Introductions Ltd
Highly Commended – Angel Couture by Kay Heeley

Made in Sheffield Manufacturing Excellence Award

Winner – RTN Clayton Vallely
Highly Commended – MGB Plastics
Highly Commended – Pro Display TM Ltd

Enterprising Barnsley Most Promising New Business Award

Winner – Bliss Internet (Treeton) Ltd
Highly Commended – Getoffroad.com
Highly Commended – SUM.AGENCY

Rotherham Together Partnership Skills Development Award

Winner – Morrison Mears
Highly Commended – Crystal Clean Service Ltd
Highly Commended – XPO Logistics

Airmaster and Mitsubishi Electric Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Award

Winner – Cannon Hall Farm
Highly Commended – Museum Sheffield
Highly Commended – Wortley Hall

Chamber’s Charity of the Year – In association with Fortem

Winner – City Hearts UK
Highly Commended – Support Dogs
Highly Commended – Newlife, the charity for disabled children

BR Chamber website

Images: BR Chamber


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News: Rotherham Council consider fracking ban

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Members of Rotherham Council are set to debate the contentious issue of fracking this week with the ruling Labour councillors hoping to pass a motion that would commit the authority to not allow any fracking activities on Council land.

The motion, put forward by Cllr. Beck and seconded by Cllr. Wilson, comes as the authority deals with its first shale gas related planning applications.

INEOS' oil and gas exploration and production business has two proposals on Greenbelt land in the Rotherham borough where it has also been carrying out seismic testing. A site at Harthill was first identified as an exploration site and a second site at Woodsetts has now been selected. Both sites have been identified as being in an area of interest to INEOS based on existing seismic data.

A type of natural gas, shale gas has the potential to become an important energy source for the UK, as it is in the US, but extracting the gas using a method called "fracking" (hydraulic fracturing) has negative environmental impacts.

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The proposals involve building a drilling rig and drilling vertically, deep into the ground (around 2,800m) to find out how much gas is in the shale. This does not involve fracking.

INEOS claim that that there would be no detrimental impact on the local environment from its proposed 60 metre high shale gas testing well at Harthill.

Rotherham Council is expected to schedule a special meeting of the planning board in November given the large number of representation letters that have been received. A breakdown of the representations shows that 1,009 are objecting to the proposals and 0 are in support.

As well as putting forward general objections to fracking, the objections focus on the potential impact on highway safety and wildlife, the visual impact, noise and geological issues related to mining.

An application for the Woodsetts site is due to be submitted shortly.

The motion to Rotherham Council, notes that all planning applications relating to fracking must be considered on their merits in planning terms, within the rules set out by the Government, but asks that the Council, "commits to not allow any fracking activities, including survey work, on Council owned or controlled land and property."

Images: INEOS


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