AMRC to build £20m facility at Samlesbury

The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) has received planning permission to build a £20m facility at the heart of Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone.

Planners at South Ribble Borough Council and Ribble Valley Borough Council have given the go-ahead for the 4,500 sq m facility which will have a focus on vehicle electrification, battery assembly and lightweighting technologies.

It will contain machine tools, additive and hybrid manufacturing, automated assembly, robotics, and autonomous manufacturing processes and systems.

The project is to be funded through the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP)’s Growth Deal. In addition, a £2.5 million revenue grant from the European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) matched with £1.6m from the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (HVM Catapult), will secure the creation of a high-performing technical R&D team.

Steve Fogg, chairman of the LEP, said: “We have worked hard to attract the AMRC to the Samlesbury Aerospace EZ and backed it with £20m of Lancashire Growth Deal Funding.

“The AMRC will play a key role in helping the county’s aerospace and advanced manufacturing sectors to maintain their leading position in the UK, by driving growth, productivity and innovation and supporting Lancashire firms to compete nationally and internationally.

The AMRC will play a key role in helping the county’s aerospace and advanced manufacturing sectors to maintain their leading position in the UK

He added: “The AMRC is also another hugely important investment in the Samlesbury Aerospace EZ. We expect considerable synergies between the AMRC and the growing number of top-class, high-tech facilities that are already on the site and it will also complement UCLan’s Engineering Innovation Centre, which the LEP also helped fund.

“With world-class facilities like the AMRC and high-quality infrastructure and support, Lancashire’s EZs combine to make an economic and investor offer of Northern Powerhouse significance, which will drive job creation and economic growth in the county for years to come.”

Melissa Conlon, commercial director for the University of Sheffield AMRC North West, said: “Our mission is to ensure that Lancashire and the North becomes the engine room of the fourth industrial revolution, harnessing the latest digital technologies, from robotics and automation to artificial intelligence and augmented reality, to support the transition to a low carbon economy, accelerate the move to transport electrification, drive up productivity, improve the competitiveness of indigenous industries and make the region a magnet for global manufacturing brands to invest.”

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