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Rolls-Royce to Set Up Research Centre at AMP

posted 22 Jan 2010, 08:18 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 21 Jul 2010, 07:32 ]
Originally Posted: Wednesday 23rd December 2009
Rolls-Royce has chosen the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham as the base for one of two groundbreaking research and engineering plants coming to South Yorkshire, set to create several hundred jobs.

They represent the biggest investment in South Yorkshire for decades and are forecast to contribute £1bn a year to the UK economy for many years to come. Through them, Britain will become the world’s leading supplier of components and research for the global nuclear energy industry.

The first will be a £25m Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC) at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP), just off the Parkway at Waverley. That is primarily funded by £15m from the Government and £10m from regional development agency Yorkshire Forward.

It will sit alongside the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing research Centre with Boeing, which played a leading role in bringing the projects to Yorkshire.

The second will be a civil nuclear manufacturing plant, whose exact location has yet to be announced. That will get £45m of Government support.

They will make important research and engineering contributions to Britain’s nuclear energy programme. The manufacturing plant will produce large pressure vessels – drums 30 metres (98ft) across – for nuclear reactors.

Lord Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, visited the AMP on Thursday December 3 to announce these and other measures to help Britain create a low-carbon economy.

“We excel in so many things in this country,” he said, praising the South Yorkshire and UK “passion for manufacturing”. The full package comprises:
  • That the new Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC) will be based in South Yorkshire alongside the AMRC, led by Sheffield University in partnership with University of Manchester, with Rolls Royce as the lead industrial partner.
  • An additional £8m to upgrade the nuclear laboratories at Manchester University’s Dalton Nuclear Institute to support the NAMRC. This is in addition to the £15m Government has already committed to the NAMRC.
  • Rolls-Royce's planned civil nuclear factory in South Yorkshire.
  • A Nuclear Low Carbon Economic Area (LCEA) in the North West and Yorkshire, led by NWDA in close collaboration with Yorkshire Forward.
  • As part of the Nuclear LCEA the North West will support the Manufacturing Advisory Service’s (MAS) nuclear services as part of the Nuclear LCEA, offering manufacturing companies advice and support to access the nuclear energy market.

The measures will help British businesses potentially provide up to 80 per cent of the work on construction of new nuclear power plants.

Yorkshire Forward chief executive Tom Riordan said: “Yorkshire Forward has worked closely with Rolls-Royce and the Government to secure both investments and this announcement is incredible news for a part of our region hit hard by the recession. It recognises the cutting edge facilities and the top quality of our academic and business skills base.

“The UK's nuclear programme is expected to create over 4,500 engineering jobs over the next 25 years and well over a £1bn a year to the industry. Yorkshire Forward’s investment into both the NAMRC and Rolls-Royce’s new manufacturing facility will firmly put the region at the very heart of the UK’s energy sector. This cements our position as a centre of excellence for manufacturing, to a global marketplace, securing and creating jobs now and in the future.”

The leader of Rotherham Borough Council, Cllr Roger Stone, said: “This is a new era for Rotherham. Rolls-Royce is the best in the world at what it does. It has chosen a location that’s among the best in the world.

“These projects have massive implications for the UK economy. At a local level, as well as new high-quality jobs we believe it will galvanise our young people into strengthening their skills and ambitions to be, like Rolls-Royce, world-class players.”

The new centre will be led by the University of Sheffield in partnership with the University of Manchester with Rolls- Royce as a lead industrial partner.

It will bring together university research and industrial expertise to develop manufacturing techniques and components that will meet the demand for new nuclear power stations. It will also benefit supply chain companies with support in securing accreditation to compete in the civil nuclear sector.

Founder industrial partners also include Areva, Westinghouse, Sheffield Forgemasters and NAMTEC.

Lord Mandelson also announced that Rolls-Royce’s planned civil nuclear facility was destined for South Yorkshire. That will manufacture, assemble and test high quality components that are essential to meet the requirements of the planned new civil nuclear power plants across the UK. This investment will create more than 300 jobs, with hundreds more expected to be made throughout industry supply chains, across the region.

The industry giant acknowledged Yorkshire and Humber’s position as the centre for excellence in advanced manufacturing and chose South Yorkshire, despite strong international competition, as a result of the strong skills base already present in the region.

Lord Mandelson said: “We know that we have to make the transition to a low carbon future, and the Government is determined to ensure that British businesses get the support they need to seize the business opportunities that transition creates.

“The civil nuclear sector is one of the key low carbon industries where the UK has the potential for job creation, economic growth and engineering and manufacturing excellence. Today’s announcement is about investing in our future. A greener, smarter, more skilled, more balanced British economy.”

Rosie Winterton, the Minister for Yorkshire and The Humber, said: "This latest substantial investment in the world class facilities we have at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in South Yorkshire demonstrates our leading role as a base for advanced manufacturing research and production. It also confirms the vital role our universities play in our future economic growth."Yorkshire and The Humber has real potential in advanced engineering and materials and in being a world-leader for research and scientific development - and in the commercial exploitation of new technologies."