Monday, August 12, 2019

News: Plans in for latest multimillion pound research facility


Plans are progressing that will enable the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) to create a new research facility in Rotherham.

Rothbiz reported in June that a £2.2m grant was secured via the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority to support a £22m project to establish a unique research facility in Rotherham employing up to 40 highly skilled jobs.

The UKAEA is a UK government research organisation responsible for the development of nuclear fusion power with the mission to lead the commercial development of fusion power and related technology and position the UK as a leader in sustainable nuclear energy. It is an executive non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

A planning application has now been submitted by landowners, Harworth Group plc, for a 0.65 hectare site on the Advanced manufacturing Park (AMP) adjacent to McLaren's Composites Technology Centre.

Drawn up by Barton Willmore and Harris Partnership, the reserve matters application is for a new research facility up to 22,300 sq ft of floorspace with first floor office floorspace (2,100 sq ft). Details regarding access, parking, and servicing, landscaping and other infrastructure are also included.

The plans state: "The proposals are for the next phase of the AMP, building on the success of the AMP to date. The proposed development will provide an industrial unit that will offer a high-quality research and development facility and follows on from previous phases of the development which lie adjacent to the Application Site.


"The Application Site is currently vacant and was formerly in use as part of a larger mining site. It forms part of the expansion land associated with the AMP and is due to be taken over by UKAEA, a UK government research organisation responsible for the development of fusion power. The proposal will establish a unique research facility employing at least 30 highly skilled jobs.

"The project proposes to construct a dedicated building which will be used to develop joining technologies for various materials including novel metals and ceramics, and then to evaluate the materials and components under test conditions that will simulate those that would be experienced inside a fusion device.

"This project, which is currently in development, includes a contribution from the Government's Local Growth Fund resources which is part of the Government's continued investment in the Northern Powerhouse."

The building is designed to create a modern feel to the development that is consistent with the existing plots at the AMP. The materials feature cladding, louvers and high-quality glazing.

The plans conclude: "The proposals offer an exciting opportunity to the area that will further enhance the AMP and continue to assist in the economic development and regeneration of this area including the wider AMID [the wider Sheffield - Rotherham Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District]. This in turn will assist the Borough and Council to positively prepare for growth over the coming plan period. Furthermore, the application is entirely consistent with the area's Enterprise Zone designation and its requirements."

UKAEA website

Images: Harris Partnership


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