Wednesday, September 18, 2019

News: £22m Rotherham test facility will engage UK industry in the drive for fusion energy


The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) has confirmed that it will open a £22m fusion energy research facility in Rotherham next year.

Rothbiz reported first that the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham was being scouted by the UK government research organisation.

The facility will see UKAEA working with industrial partners to put the UK in a strong position to commercialise nuclear fusion as a major source of low-carbon electricity in the years ahead.

Located at the heart of the UK's advanced manufacturing region, the UKAEA base will bring 40 highly-skilled jobs and foster increased collaboration with research organisations including the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC).

Plans have already been submitted for the new research facility up to 22,300 sq ft of floorspace with first floor office floorspace (2,100 sq ft). It will be funded as part of the Government's Nuclear Sector Deal delivered through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. An additional £2m of investment is coming from Sheffield City Region's (SCR's) Local Growth Fund.

The key role of the facility will be to develop and test joining technologies for fusion materials and components – for example novel metals and ceramics. These will then be tested and evaluated under conditions simulating the inside of a fusion reactor (including high heat flux, in-vacuum, and strong magnetic fields).

The site will help UK companies win contracts as part of ITER – the key international fusion project being built in the south of France. Looking further ahead, it will enable technology development for the first nuclear fusion power plants, which are already being designed.

The facility will require regular supplies of specialist metals and materials – providing further opportunities for regional companies in the UK.


Colin Walters, director of the National Fusion Technology Platform at UKAEA, said: "Momentum is growing in fusion research and we believe the opening of this facility in South Yorkshire represents a practical step towards developing power plants.

"This facility will provide fantastic opportunities for UK businesses to win contracts and put UKAEA in a great position to help deliver the necessary expertise for the first nuclear fusion power stations."

Dan Jarvis MBE MP, Sheffield City Region Mayor, added: "The Sheffield City Region is a growing hub of innovation, expertise, and knowledge.

"These qualities are among the reasons why the UKAEA have chosen to open a new facility in Rotherham, supported by Local Growth funding from the Sheffield City Region.

"As well as creating new skilled jobs and opportunities for collaboration with the nearby research centres, this facility will create opportunities for other businesses as specialist suppliers, boosting the region's economy and highlighting our world-leading specialisms in advanced manufacturing."

Andrew Storer, CEO of the Nuclear AMRC, added: "We're delighted to welcome UKAEA to the Advanced Manufacturing Park, and to the Sheffield region's world-leading cluster of applied innovation. We look forward to working with UKAEA at their new facility to develop manufacturing techniques for fusion power plants and help UK manufacturers win work in this growing global market.

"This development has the potential to create many jobs in the local supply chain as fusion technology matures. This is a huge deal for Sheffield and the North, and we are really pleased to have played a part in this and to be working with UKAEA."

Sarah Champion MP, added: "This is the latest in a string of major developments at the Park, confirming the site’s reputation as the leading venue for research, development and manufacturing.

"Rotherham, and the skills, creativity and expertise we can provide, are now firmly established on the international stage. With McLaren, Rolls Royce, Boeing and many others already based at the AMP, the future is bright for both the AMP and our local economy. I look forward to welcoming many more organisations to Rotherham in forthcoming years."

UKAEA website

Images: UKAEA / Harris Partnership


News: Rotherham pubs in Good Beer Guide - is your local on the list?


More Rotherham venues are now featured in the prestigious Good Beer Guide following a rise in the number of micropubs across the borough.

And the good news for real ale fans continues with the local branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) announcing the dates for its own beer festival later this year and a new beer stall has opened in Rotherham Market.

The Good Beer Guide 2020 is CAMRA's premier publication featuring the very best pubs to find a great pint in the UK.

Rotherham pubs making the guide include Cutler's Arms, New York Tavern and Bluecoat in the town centre.

Smaller venues in the guide include Wath Tap at Wath, Something BREW INN at Rawmarsh, Dragon's Tap at Stag and Little Haven at Parkgate.

More traditional pubs in the guide include Wentworth's George & Dragon, Church House in Wath, The Hind at Whiston, The Stag at Stag, Queen's Hotel at Maltby, Little Mester at North Anston and Duke of Leeds at Wales.

Rotherham's own Chantry Brewery (which also runs the Cutler's and New York Tavern) is also featured in the Good Beer Guide.


Tom Stainer, chief executive of CAMRA, said: "For nearly five decades, the Good Beer Guide has been a comprehensive guide to the UK's breweries, their ales, and the best outlets to find them in across the country.

"What makes the Guide unique is that all the entries are compiled and vetted by a huge volunteer team, based around the country. We work hard to ensure that all areas of the country are covered and, unlike with some competitor titles, inclusion in this book is dependent only on merit, not on payment.

"The Good Beer Guide has always had an important role in acting as a barometer of the beer and pub industry. We believe information gleaned from the Guide is absolutely vital in the drive to save our pubs from closure and campaign for policies that better support pubs, local brewers and their customers."

Keven Keaveney, regional director at CAMRA. added: "Yorkshire's beer scene continues to go from strength to strength with talented young brewers and brewsters taking the industry forward. We are very thankful that Yorkshire was a hub for innovation back in the 80s and 90s, with so many brewers choosing to start-up microbreweries and setting a high standard for real ale quality. Today, customers care about the provenance of the products they buy, which is why we work hard as a campaigning organisation to ensure local brewers continue to have access to sell their local beers in local pubs."

Rotherham CAMRA Beer Festival is set to be held at the Trades Club in Rotherham town centre on November 28,29,30.

Brad's Beers has recently opened in Rotherham Market - a new craft beer and real ale bottle shop selling a large range of pale ales, stouts, lagers, ciders and much more from some of the best small breweries in the country.

CAMRA website

Images: Something BREW INN / George & Dragon / Facebook


News: Shortlist announced for Barnsley and Rotherham Business Awards


Businesses and individuals from across the South Yorkshire region will battle for honours at the Barnsley and Rotherham Business Awards ceremony, in association with AAG IT Services, on Friday October 18 at Magna, Rotherham.

This year, judges have shortlisted five entrants for each of the twelve categories on offer, the winners will be announced at the ceremony. In addition to this, the Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award recipient will be revealed on the evening, all applicants are welcome to attend.

Judges have nominated one business per category to be entered for the highly coveted Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Gibson Booth Business Solutions & Insolvency, which will recognise one outstanding organisation across all aspects of business.

Andrew Denniff, Chief Executive of Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, said: "This year we have received a record number of applications, with over 140 submissions being received across 13 categories. Once again, the standard of entries was particularly high, and the judges were faced with some very difficult decisions.

"Congratulations to everyone who has secured a place on the shortlist, you should be very proud of your achievements, and we look forward to welcoming everyone to our celebration evening in October."


The 2019 shortlist:

Masonite Apprentice of the Year Award:

Charles Hauge – Enzygo Ltd
Daisy Johnson – Bob’s Business
Gracie Smith – Russell Richardson
Jack Taylor – AAG IT Services Ltd
Oliver Wilde – Engie Regeneration Ltd

AAG IT Services Best Use of Technology Award:

DEB Chartered Accountants
Hallam FM Cash for Kids
Hogen Systems Ltd
LNS Turbo UK Ltd
The Source

Jelf Business Community Impact Award:

Enzygo Ltd
FareShare Yorkshire
Home Instead Senior Care Rotherham
Rotherham United Community Sports Trust

Enzygo Business Growth Award:

Brook Corporate Developments
Corrosion Resistant Materials
Electrical Safety UK Limited
Secure Power Ltd
Wellspring Academy Trust

Shorts Business Person of the Year Award:

Cheryl Radford – Big Fish Little Fish
Jonathan Morley – Secure Power Ltd
Marc Wildes – Van Dyk By Wildes
Mark Scanlan – LNS Turbo UK Ltd
Rose Dyson – Pura Cosmetics

RNN Training Commitment to People Development Award:

Bob’s Business
British Glass
NPS Barnsley Limited
XPO Logistics

Brook Corporate Developments Excellence in Customer Service Award:

Amanda’s Blinds
DEB Chartered Accountants
Freedom In Numbers Limited
Glu Recruit
Oxley & Coward Solicitors LLP

National Fluid Power Centre Excellence in Manufacturing Award:

Charles H Coward Ltd
LNS Turbo UK Ltd
MGB Plastics
Oracle Precision Ltd
Specialised Laser Products Ltd

Finance For Enterprise Marketing Campaign of the Year Award:

Actus Risk Management Services Ltd
Electrical Safety UK Limited
Enhanced Marketing Group
LensGo Visual Media
No18 Interiors LTD

Launchpad Most Promising New Business Award:

Dawson Radford Solicitors
Old George Coffee House
Premier Martial Arts
The Elite Wax Group

Rotherham Together Partnership Workplace Wellbeing Award:

Berneslai Homes
British Glass
LNS Turbo UK Ltd
Russell Richardson

Charity of the Year Award, in association with Fortem:

Barnsley Sea Cadets
Bluebell Wood Childrens Hospice
FareShare Yorkshire
Rotherham Rise
YWCA Yorkshire

Awards website

Images: BR Chamber


Monday, September 16, 2019

News: Rothbiz gains an ally - the Prime Minister


If you can get past the headline-grabbing heckling, the fudged answers to press questions, the less than enthusiastic audience reaction and the "light-hearted remark" from the host, you'll find that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom stood up and promoted positive stories about Rotherham businesses.

Boris Johnson used a high profile event in Rotherham to renew a drive to give more power to Northern regions.

At The Convention of the North held at Magna, the PM said: "[It is] only right that we are meeting here on the banks of the Don, literally the crucible in which the history of the nation was forged - and indeed of the modern world.

"When Nelson defeated the French at Trafalgar and set this country on course for about 100 years of imperial expansion, the cannons on HMS Victory were forged here at Walker and Company.

"It was Rotherham pipes that brought fresh drinking water to Hong Kong, Rotherham steel that clad Brunel’s Great Eastern and formed the skeletons of New York skyscrapers and did you know that every fire hydrant in New York was cast in British steel less than two miles from here at the works of Guest and Chrimes.

"That was before it occurred to anyone to put tariffs on British steel.

"This place where we meet was so central to our national life that it was bombed in both the first and second world wars.

"And so it was entirely fitting that 50 years ago the works here at Templeborough adopted as its logo the phoenix – perpetually rising from the ashes.

"And across this region you can feel that phoenix-like transformation as the Northern Powerhouse – which Jake just spoke so eloquently - thrums into life with a low-carbon, fuel efficient roar.

"Look at Catcliffe.

"Where a factory that once made superb glass is now being used by McLaren to turn super-light, super-strong Yorkshire carbon fibre into the fastest production cars on earth.

"Right next door, at the Advanced Manufacturing Park, Xeros Technology are producing the world's most environmentally friendly washing machine - that's the spin and I bet it's true.


"Boeing chose Sheffield as its first civil aerospace factory in Europe – with nearly half its employees taken on as apprentices.

"And did anybody have a bagel this morning? Did you? No?

"Well if you did, it was probably made just up the road in Mexborough, where, in the largest bagel factory in Europe produces fully three-quarters of the bagels eaten in Britain every day.

"Sheffield is the home of the UK's largest provider of hybrid and electric vehicle drive systems, a company called Magtec.

"A world-first initiative, Magtec is retrofitting Sheffield's refuse lorries with battery-power, with enough juice to negotiate the seven hills and recharge themselves with energy they generate from the very rubbish they collect.

"Rubbish powered rubbish vans – there's a joke there somewhere which I will leave to you.

"I tell you, there is no limit to the imagination, innovation, ingenuity and leadership in the North."

The Prime Minister also said that the Government are committed to getting the Sheffield City Region devolution deal done and set out his intention to allow Northern communities to take more control over their rail services.

He added: "In this birthplace of the railways, we can do so much better. Today – coming from London on the train, it took me just over an hour and a half to get to Doncaster. But if, for example, you travelled from Liverpool to Rotherham – less than half the distance – you might have had to leave an hour earlier than me, and change as many as three times."

Images: NP11 /


News: Grimm & Co expansion plans heading for approval


Grimm & Co, the innovative literacy charity in Rotherham, has received positive reviews for its £1.3m expansion plans which are booked in for approval by the planning board this week.

Rothbiz reported first that a planning application had been submitted for reimagining the Talbot Lane Methodist Church in the town centre as a much larger premises for the charity, affording it greater possibilities to deliver its mission to change lives one story at a time.

The plans are being recommended for approval by planning officers and have attracted support around the reuse of the building but also objections, the majority relating to heritage impacts.

Opening in a former pub in 2016, the Apothecary to the Magical sells wild schemes, evil plots, charms, curses and kitchenware. It was recently voted "No. 159 best shop for all things wicked" by Witch? magazine.

Above the shop, the Yorkshire charity runs innovative storytelling and writing workshops for children in the local area, to unleash their imaginations and build confidence, self-respect and communication skills. Since its inception, Grimm & Co has educated and engaged 9,300 children in school trips and workshops.

The plans include converting the Grade II listed church and extra space would enable three schools to visit at once. Introducing a food & beverage offer – "The Book & Broomstick" - is also in the plans.


Introducing a new floor into the building was deemed by consultants to harm the significance of the listed building and so plans have been amended which now show the retention of more pews, the retention of the pulpit and the introduction of double height space by cutting back the balcony further.

Addressing concerns, the applicant said: "We believe the benefit to Rotherham, its reputation, its community and its next generation is timely and also far outweighs the impact of the scheme, which we will work on to reduce any negative impact on the building.

"This scheme will also provide an exciting new story destination for the town that celebrates reading and writing and will bring much needed positive publicity, helping to change perceptions of Rotherham to that of truly being a child friendly borough.
"Lastly, our community will have a resource to be proud of, providing a level of ownership and value. So, I hope all observers can feel reassured that we will do all that we can to preserve the building's history wherever possible. However, inevitably, in order to be able to offer teaching and learning, and to make sure we are able to make everyone welcome, we will need to make changes."

Overall, planners conclude: "The proposed development would ensure that this Listed Building remains in community use and avoids the building laying empty, potentially falling into disrepair. The proposal would have some harm on the Heritage Assets though this would be "less than substantial" and it is considered that the public benefits outweigh the harm in this instance. In addition, the scheme satisfies all other material planning considerations."

Grimm & Co. website

Images: Grimm & Co / Halliday Clark

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