Robertson has been appointed by the University of Sheffield to build its dedicated Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) North West
The AMRC will boost Lancashire’s reputation as one of the UK’s most innovative regions for advanced manufacturing and extending the AMRC’s footprint across the north.
The University of Sheffield AMRC North West will be constructed at the heart of the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone in Preston, part of the wider Lancashire Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Cluster.
Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal will provide a £20m grant to build and equip the 4,500m2 applied research centre, which will accelerate and demonstrate innovative technologies, tools and techniques.
Robertson was awarded the £11m construction contract following a competitive tender process by the University of Sheffield.
Steve Foxley, CEO University of Sheffield AMRC, said: “The new facility will not only place Lancashire at the forefront of advanced manufacturing and technologies, but it will be a catalyst for inward investment, supporting businesses in the region to innovate, drive up productivity, and lead manufacturing towards a smart, sustainable and resilient future.”
Dirk Pittaway, managing director of Robertson, added: “Our appointment to build AMRC North West illustrates the commitment of the University of Sheffield to deliver a world-class facility for the incredible work that will be undertaken.
“As a business with a strong North West presence we will be working wherever we can with local supply chain partners, further bolstering the local economy and proudly providing a platform for AMRC North West to take its place on the global stage.”
Cartwright Pickard Architects, Curtins Engineers, Arup, Gardiner and Theobald, and Rex Procter and Partners will be working alongside Roberston to deliver AMRC North West.
Driving growth in the North West
AMRC North West will play a key role in driving recovery, growth, productivity and innovation, supporting Lancashire firms to compete nationally and internationally.
The creation of a high-performing technical R&D team will enhance the manufacturing base of Lancashire, working with both manufacturing companies and their supply chains.
Steve Fogg, Chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, said: “The appointment of a contractor takes us one step closer to realising our vision for the site.
“The Enterprise Zone will be one of the county’s sites of strategic significance and the location of the AMRC is testament to Lancashire’s strong aerospace and advanced manufacturing capabilities.
“The decision by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership to invest £20m of its Growth Deal monies into this scheme is due to its confidence in the AMRC’s ability to drive growth and increase productivity to ensure Lancashire remains at the forefront innovative and cutting-edge technologies.”
Currently operating from an interim facility provided by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), the growing AMRC North West team is dedicated to working with manufacturing businesses, from global aerospace giants to local small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Work is expected to start on site in September and complete during the second half of 2021.