Friday, May 18, 2018

News: Vision outlined for Global Innovation Corridor

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Further details have been revealed for a vision to stretch the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) being created in Sheffield and Rotherham to other sites in the Sheffield city region (SCR).

Landowners, Harworth Group and Peel Group, has seen the success of research-led advanced manufacturing revitalising the site of the former Orgreave coking works which is now home to the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) and has attracted leading names such as Rolls-Royce, McLaren and Boeing to the area.

The board of the SCR Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) were recently introduced to the concept of a SCR Global Innovation Corridor (GIC), identifying a series of interconnected physical, economic and networking assets within the city region, using the AMID as the catalyst, and proposing "taking the success of the Advanced Manufacturing Park and repeating it" across the region.

Rothbiz reported in April on plans to accelerate activity around the AMID which aims to create "a 2,000-acre centre of excellence for innovation-led research and industrial collaboration."

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With plans recently submitted for the next phase at the AMP which could create a further 400,000 sq ft of space, it is estimated that land at the AMP will run out in the next four to five years and the landowners are hoping to tie together other key anchor points such as the Aerocentre Yorkshire development at the airport and at M1, Junction 36.

A presentation to the board states: "The AMID is running short of space on both sides of the Parkway. There is less than four years worth of developable commercial land at the AMP. Congestion at Junctions 33 and 34 of the M1 remains a concern, as does the reliance on vehicles to move people and goods.

"Further "placemaking" is required to keep occupiers and residents happy [and there is a] need to develop closer links to the catalytic effect of AMID with the rest of the city region."

Work is ongoing on improving connectivity around the innovation district such as proposals to widen the Parkway and improve access to the M1. A mass transit system is being looked at and the previously scrapped Waverley Link Road remains on the drawing board.

A bid to the Government's Transforming Cities Fund is expected to support some of these projects and more.

The LEP board considered that the Global Innovation Corridor idea was a brand and agreed to support the concept in principle and endorsed, subject to further development work, its potential incorporation into the revised SCR Strategic Economic Plan. A more worked up plan of action is set to be presented at a future meeting.

Images: Harworth / Peel

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