Thursday, July 7, 2011

News: Central Government takes ownership of Rotherham's AMP Technology Centre


The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has retained the AMP Technology Centre in Rotherham as part of the transfer of land and property assets owned by Yorkshire Forward.

The 50,000 sq ft state of the art building is considered to be the Advanced Manufacturing Park's incubation facility. It provides facilities and a support infrastructure designed to help fledgling manufacturing and engineering companies turn innovative ideas into commercial reality in an environment which accelerates growth. It was one of the first commercial buildings in the country to be powered by a unique hydrogen mini-grid system.

Creative Space took over management of the centre on behalf of Yorkshire Forward in 2009.

In a written Ministerial statement, the government identified the AMP Technology Centre as having national importance and stated that it will be retained within central Government in order to be developed further to support investments in innovation and technology.

As part of the transfer, the Government is to establish a stewardship arrangement and contract the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to manage the asset.

Other assets owned by Yorkshire Forward, which will close by April 2012, are to transferred to the HCA under a similar stewardship model. The agency will own the assets and liabilities, with local communities involved in decisions about future development plans to maximise the benefits to economic growth and regeneration in their areas. The transfer is currently planned to take effect on 19 September 2011.

In Rotherham this includes the leasehold of Renaissance House in Manvers. Other Yorkshire Forward assets in Rotherham have already been transferred to the HCA including former coalfield land at Dinnington, Kiveton and Roundwood. Plot 4 at the AMP and the Tarmac Site, Wath Upon Dearne were released for disposal on the open market last April.

David Curtis, the HCA's executive director for the North East, Yorkshire and The Humber, said: "This is a practical way forward that will benefit local economies, minimise costs to the taxpayer and give local communities a place at the table as we work together to develop these assets to benefit Yorkshire & The Humber.

"Our principal aim is to ensure that the assets help to drive forward economic growth and regeneration in Yorkshire and The Humber. The stewardship model ensures that these sites continue to support Yorkshire and the Humber's long-term economic development. As a whole, the picture is good – all areas will benefit as investment will be made in the assets so that economic growth and regeneration objectives are achieved."

In January, Yorkshire Forward stated that many of the assets should instead be transferred to local authorities via a trust arrangement or transferred to councils for deferred payment consideration. The Government later confirmed that this would not be appropriate.

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk added: "The transfer of RDA land and property assets to the Homes and Communities Agency underlines our commitment to making sure these assets are used to support economic growth and regeneration.

"Through local enterprise partnerships, the Regional Growth Fund and Enterprise Zones, we are putting in place an efficient and locally driven model of regional economic development that ensures government support goes to where it can have most impact."

HCA website
Yorkshire Forward website
AMP website

Images: AMP


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