Thursday, February 9, 2017

News: McLaren move welcomed

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Plans announced by UK supercar manufacturer, McLaren to open a new factory in the Sheffield city region, have been welcomed.

McLaren has officially announced its part in a £50m Composites Technology Centre responsible for the development and manufacturing of advanced carbon fibre chassis for McLaren Automotive's supercars

The move mirrors that made by Rolls-Royce when the UK manufacturer invested in a £110m Advanced Blade Casting Facility on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham and is set to accelerate the emerging Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) idea.

Both McLaren and Rolls-Royce work with the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing.

Located on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham and a partner in the HVM Catapult (the government's strategic initiative that aims to revitalise the manufacturing industry), the AMRC focuses on advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value manufacturing sectors. It is a partnership between industry and academia, which has become a model for research centres worldwide.

In 2014 the institution signed a deal to secure 50 acres of land at Sheffield Business Park, paving the way for the expansion of the AMRC and building on its success on the AMP, where it already operates from 300,000 sq ft of accommodation within seven separate buildings.

The impressive Factory 2050 was the first AMRC building to open and the new campus is expected to attract more leading manufacturing companies to locate the the area - McLaren the latest high profile name to be announced.

A specific site has not yet been announced for the McLaren Composites Technology Centre but Rothbiz understands that it will be somewhere on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham. It will be housed in a 75,000 sq ft building set over four acres and will be responsible for the research and development of future Monocell and Monocage carbon fibre chassis as well as the manufacturing of the chassis itself. The 200 new employees will comprise approximately 150 production staff and 50 manufacturing support staff.

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Cllr. Denise Lelliott, Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy at Rotherham Council said the move was a significant deal for Rotherham's Advanced Manufacturing Park, and further great news for the Sheffield City Region's economy.

She added: "McLaren joins other global names developing the next generation of advanced engineering and manufacturing technologies and products at the park. These businesses are choosing to come to a borough that has a history and future of engineering excellence.

"As we look to the future of manufacturing and the next stage of our economy, the Advanced Manufacturing Park project is the standard to which other parts of the country aspire."
Cllr. Leigh Bramall, Deputy Leader of Sheffield City Council and Cabinet Member for Business and Economy, added: "This is a tremendous deal for Sheffield, its people and workforce, and its growing research and development sector.

"It is further proof that the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District is the place for leading manufacturers to come not only for research and development and industrial collaboration, but also for production.

"This combination of value-adding R&D investment and related production employment is the key to our future economic success.

"We offer something unique here in Sheffield and Rotherham – a cutting-edge manufacturing base that links our two universities and leading businesses to create jobs and investment across the Sheffield City Region.

"Our team has led the charge to create a place that draws in and develops world-class people and a place where the world's leading companies come to explore new technologies and operating methods and deliver research and technology into the UK's supply and value chains."
Sir Nigel Knowles, Chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Board (LEP), said: "Our close partnership with the University, Sheffield City Council, and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre was fundamental to bringing a global concern such as McLaren here.

"This is a nationally significant development, reflected in Theresa May's new Industrial Strategy which focused on areas where the city region has exceptional strengths – industrial digitisation, and the automotive, aerospace, and civil nuclear sectors. Our Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District, where McLaren will be based, highlights this.

"Our £12m commitment to the £50m project has been critical to ensuring McLaren could get the project off the ground. It's absolutely fantastic to see jobs coming to the North – the McLaren Composites Technology Centre will be the company's first purpose-built facility outside its current campus in Surrey – but none of this would have been possible without our single-minded approach to ensuring we create jobs and boost economic growth.

"Strategic investment in projects which will create good quality employment is central to the SCR's target of creating 30,000 high value jobs and 6,000 new businesses – and the funding for McLaren illustrates this."

International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, added: "McLaren is a prime example of the UK’s continued world-leading role in technology, design and innovation. Establishing their new Composites Technology Centre in Sheffield shows McLaren's confidence in the UK as a world-leader in research that will support local business and high-skilled jobs while drawing international investment into the Northern Powerhouse."

McLaren website
AMRC website
AMP website

Images: McLaren


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