Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster, and Barnsley are set to witness a significant boost in their economies with the establishment of the UK’s first Advanced Manufacturing Investment Zone. This initiative is expected to generate approximately 8,000 new jobs and attract £1.2 billion of private funding by 2030, bolstering the region’s economic growth.
Investment Partnerships to Drive Development
Boeing, Spirit AeroSystems, Loop Technology, and the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) have joined forces to support the initial investment, valued at over £80 million. Their collaboration will play a crucial role in driving innovation and growth within the Advanced Manufacturing sector.
Chancellor’s Praise for Economic Opportunities
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has hailed the establishment of South Yorkshire’s Advanced Manufacturing Investment Zone as a significant opportunity for traditionally underperforming areas. He emphasized the importance of fostering economic growth and creating opportunities throughout the UK.
To achieve this, the government plans to establish twelve Investment Zones across the country, centered around universities and high-growth industries such as Advanced Manufacturing, life sciences, and green industries. These zones aim to directly benefit local communities.
South Yorkshire’s Strengths and Focus
The South Yorkshire Investment Zone has been strategically designed to capitalize on the region’s strengths and is primarily focused on Advanced Manufacturing. It includes the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University as key partners.
By leveraging more than £1.2 billion of private funding, the Investment Zone aims to support over 8,000 jobs by 2030.
Chancellor’s Visit and Government Support
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt praised Boeing’s investments during his visit to AMRC’s Factory 2050, a significant milestone for the region.
The government’s £80 million support for the Investment Zone will aid growth by attracting finance, supporting business, and creating pathways to higher-skilled jobs.
Government Support for Training and Business Activity
To facilitate growth and productivity in the sector, the government plans to offer potential support for specialist training programs tailored to the Advanced Manufacturing industry.
Additionally, it will extend its assistance to local businesses in the sector’s supply chains. These initiatives aim to drive more business activity and create a positive environment for economic development.
Minister’s Enthusiasm for Economic Growth
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, expressed his enthusiasm for South Yorkshire becoming the home of England’s first Advanced Manufacturing Investment Zone.
He emphasized the significance of this development in leveling up the region, generating employment opportunities, and fostering economic growth.
Gove highlighted the government’s commitment to building on South Yorkshire’s proud heritage and ensuring its substantial contribution to the UK economy.
Groundbreaking Aerospace Research & Development
Today’s announcement includes an investment of over £80 million for a portfolio of Research & Development projects, supported by Boeing. These initiatives will explore the future of aerospace technology.
Boeing will collaborate with industry partners, Spirit AeroSystems and Loop Technology, at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Factory 2050, located in Sheffield Business Park.
Collaboration for Aviation Advancement
The project, co-funded by industry and government, including the Aerospace Technology Institute program, will establish the UK as a leader in aviation research, development, and manufacturing.
With the forecasted demand for over 40,000 commercial aircraft over the next two decades, this collaboration places the UK at the forefront of aerospace innovation. The South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and the University of Sheffield have also extended their support to this initiative.
Boeing’s Long-standing Relationship with South Yorkshire
Boeing has a rich history in South Yorkshire, dating back approximately 22 years when it co-founded the AMRC with the University of Sheffield. This partnership has led to the establishment of an advanced manufacturing campus, including Boeing’s first European factory, on a former brownfield site.
The continued collaboration between Boeing and the AMRC demonstrates their commitment to the region’s growth and development.
Government’s Ongoing Efforts and Future Plans
The government will continue to collaborate with the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, and other local partners to further develop plans for the Advanced Manufacturing Investment Zone.
These plans include the identification of priority development sites and specific interventions to drive cluster growth. Further discussions and finalization of plans are expected to take place over the summer.
Investment Zones Across the UK
In the recent Spring Budget announcement, the Chancellor identified eight locations in England eligible to host Investment Zones. The government invited each area to propose an Investment Zone that fosters an imaginative partnership between the local government and a university or research institute, aiming to catalyze emerging innovation clusters.
Furthermore, the UK and Scottish Governments have jointly declared that Glasgow City Region and the North East of Scotland will host two Investment Zones in Scotland, thereby offering significant potential for development. Detailed proposals for these zones will be developed through discussions with the respective regions.
Driving Growth in Key Sectors
Each Investment Zone will receive £80 million in support for a range of interventions, including skills development, infrastructure improvements, and tax reliefs tailored to local requirements.
These Investment Zones aim to spur growth in the government’s key sectors, such as advanced manufacturing, life sciences, green industries, digital and technology, and creative industries.
The government actively collaborates with the devolved administrations to establish the delivery of Investment Zones in Wales and Northern Ireland.