AMRC2 continues to grow under Ridgway

The B2B publication Insider has named the research director and co-founder of the AMRC with Boeing, professor Keith Ridgway, as the second most powerful person in the Sheffield City Region.

Mr Ridgway, the executive dean of the University of Sheffield AMRC, was lauded for how “Sheffield sits at manufacturing’s top table and it is due to Ridgeway’s continuing commitment”.

The University of Sheffield and Boeing have recently revealed their plans for the next phase of expansion of the Advance Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), which Mr Ridgway will be overseeing.

Work is already underway on the first of the new facilities on the site, a £43 million, fully reconfigurable assembly and component manufacturing facility called Factory 2050, which will be the first facility of its kind in the UK.

The partnership has submitted plans to Sheffield City Council for 1.3 million square feet of new buildings at the former airport site, which, according to calculations by consultants at Oxford Economics, could create up to 1,800 new jobs and boost the annual direct contribution to the local economy by £74.2 million. It is considered to be a step towards the creation of Europe’s largest research-led manufacturing area.

Peter Coe, Technical Director at Charles Thompson, which has been based in the area for more than 40 years and has collaborated with the parties involved, believes that the investment and vision of the project is very positive.

He said: “The expansion of the AMRC will help transform the region into a hub for research and manufacturing and offer new methods and solutions for the manufacturing sector that have a truly global impact.

As well as Factory 2050, plans are also in place for a number of other buildings on the site including National Material Institute, the Fast Make Centre of Excellence and the potential for Energy 2050 a carbon capture research development.

A South Korean delegation recently toured the facilities of the AMRC as part of an initiative to boost trade and investment, the first time a delegation of this kind has visited a site outside of London. Delegates signed Memorandums of Understanding and visited a number of facilities.

Mr Coe added: “The visit from the South Korean delegation shows that the world’s eyes are still on the pioneering engineering work going on in South Yorkshire.”