Latest News | 27 April 2021

Plans in for world-class advanced manufacturing research centre

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Derby’s bid to establish a world-class advanced manufacturing research centre have taken another step closer with the submission of a full planning application.

Infinity Park Derby LLP has submitted plans to Derby City Council for the centre, which is expected to initially create up to 70 high-value jobs, rising to 120.

Capable of large-scale, high-precision machining, fabrication and assembly, the research facility at Infinity Park Derby would be operated by Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC).

It would also become a base for the University of Derby’s Institute of Innovation in Sustainable Engineering.

Paul Simpson, chief executive at Derby City Council, said: “This is yet another key milestone for this fantastic project. The proposed facility is great news for Derby’s SME businesses. We hope that this will further propel Infinity Park Derby as the manufacturing destination of choice.

“Having a world-class research facility on our doorstep is a huge boost for the city and supports our drive to emerge stronger in our economic recovery.”

Nuclear AMRC helps companies develop new techniques to win work in the nuclear sector, and tackle manufacturing challenges in automotive, rail, aerospace, renewable energy and other high-value sectors. It is part of the national High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

The new facility, with around 4,400 square metres of floorspace, will further extend the Nuclear AMRC’s ability to help manufacturers develop and adopt innovative technologies, which will deliver the maximum impact for the UK’s nuclear supply chain.

Dr Emma Kelly, strategy director at Nuclear AMRC, said that the facility would create a permanent base for Nuclear AMRC in the city and raise the profile of Infinity Park Derby.

She said: “We're delighted to see this project meet yet another key milestone.

“The Nuclear AMRC has run a successful pilot at the iHub facility on Infinity Park over the past two years and we look forward to continuing and expanding into the new facility, working with Derby City Council, regional universities and businesses to deliver jobs and support the economic recovery of the region.”

The facility would also become a base for the University of Derby’s Institute of Innovation in Sustainable Engineering, which has developed an international reputation for innovation in design, manufacturing, product lifecycle management and application of new and smart materials.

Professor Warren Manning, the university’s provost – innovation and research, at the University of Derby, said: “The opportunity for the university to work alongside the AMRC can only strengthen the reputation of our Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering.

“IISE is already engaged in collaborative research and innovation projects to provide pioneering solutions for transport and industry in the UK and overseas through our strategic partnerships with institutions in Europe, Asia and the US.

“Co-locating with AMRC will enable us to share resources and expertise and open up new opportunities for our academics to support whole business sectors to become greener, more efficient and more competitive.”

The new facility has been, in principle, allocated just over £9 million of funding by the D2N2 LEP, including £6.85 million from its Getting Building Fund and £2.2 million from its Growing Places Fund.

The Getting Building Fund is investing in shovel-ready infrastructure projects to create jobs and support economic recovery across the country.

Sajeeda Rose, chief executive at the D2N2 LEP, said: “Subject to the approval of the final business case, the new facility will build on the LEP’s significant investment in Infinity Park and the region’s reputation for advanced manufacturing excellence to help develop innovative technologies that support companies in the nuclear sector and in other high-value manufacturing industries.”

The planning application proposes production space and two-storeys of office space with car parking, including the provision of four electric car charging points, cycle storage, and a secure service yard for HGV operations.

Mark Bielby, development director at Infinity Park Derby, said: “The planning application is an important step in the delivery of the advanced research centre.

“The development stands as a testament to an excellent and effective working partnership between Infinity Park, Derby City Council, the AMRC, D2N2 and the University of Derby.

“The facility will help to further build Derby’s reputation as a city of innovation.”

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