Monday, March 9, 2015

News: Minister signals start of latest AMP build

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The next phase of development at the AMP Technology Centre in Rotherham is underway with construction work starting on a new £4.5m incubator for high tech businesses.

Communities minister, Lord Ahmad, was in the region to help perform a ceremony to break ground on the project.

Working alongside AHR Architects and WYG Engineers, Britcon will deliver a 32,291 sq ft facility on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) which will include five split level workshops with shared office space.

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It is eight years since the AMP Technology Centre was officially opened by three-time Formula 1 World Champion, Sir Jackie Stewart. It has been designed to accommodate a range of manufacturing-related activities, from fledgling engineering and technology companies, to University spin-offs and subsidiaries of established companies.

Initially developed by Yorkshire Forward, the AMP Technology Centre is now operated by Creative Space Management on behalf of the Homes and Communities Agency. It includes an £8.7m extension previously know as the Environmental Energy Technology Centre (EETC).

Communities Minister Lord Ahmad said: "It's great to be here in Sheffield City Region to get work underway on these much-needed new workshops and offices. This site has been a real success story and our investment will make sure that companies have the right kind of facilities to grow and create even more jobs for hard-working people. It shows we were right to put Enterprise Zones at the heart of our long-term economic plan. They're really starting to deliver, providing a boost to local economies and communities."

Jane Hunt, area manager at the Homes and Communities Agency, added: "Our latest investment at the Advanced Manufacturing Park will ensure that local businesses can continue to grow and develop in the Enterprise Zone. This latest building will grow on the success of the advanced manufacturing concept that has helped create this international centre of excellence.

The AMP is a key part of the designated Enterprise Zone in the Sheffield city region where companies located in the zone are benefiting from simplified planning rules and tax breaks for businesses. One of the main benefits that the zones offer is a business rate discount worth up to £275,000 per eligible business over a five year period.

Companies within the zone could also take advantage of enhanced capital allowances (instead of business rate discounts) for plant and machinery.

Prestigious tenants include Rolls-Royce, The University Of Sheffield, Boeing, Dormer Tools and X-Cel Superturn.

James Newman, Chairman of Sheffield City Region LEP, said: "The Enterprise Zone is an essential ingredient in the delivery of our ambitious ten year Economic Strategy and is yielding impressive results. Its success is as a result of continued collaboration between Harworth Estates, Sheffield Business Park, the University of Sheffield, Sheffield CC and Rotherham MBC."

The Waverley site is being developed by Harworth Estates and there is around 68 acres that remain to be developed for employment use. Larger units have been brought forward as part of the R-evolution development and a larger development of up to 300,000 sq ft, called "AMPlify" is predicted on a further 21 acres.

There are currently around 700 people employed at the AMP, with the potential for over 2,000 new jobs to be created through further development.

AMP Technology Centre website
Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone website

Images: Sheffield City Region / twitter / Britcon

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