Investment News | 13 December 2022

Construction milestone for new £20m research facility

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Work on a new £20 million industrial research facility in Derby, which will support manufacturers across the region, has reached a key milestone.

Senior figures from the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre were recently joined by their project partners for a topping out ceremony of the new building at Infinity Park Derby.

Once complete, the Nuclear AMRC Midlands facility will provide a permanent Derby base for the University of Sheffield’s Nuclear AMRC and a new home for the University of Derby’s Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering (IISE).

It will help manufacturers across the Midlands win work in growing low-carbon markets and develop new sustainable technologies.

Andrew Storer, chief executive of Nuclear AMRC, said: “It’s fantastic to see the progress that’s been made on our new facility, especially when the UN climate change conference in Egypt is again highlighting the urgency of reducing emissions from all parts of the global economy.

“As a nation, we need to build a new generation of low-carbon power plant, and we need to move industry to more sustainable manufacturing and engineering practices.

“The research that will be carried out in this facility will help tackle both of those challenges, and support manufacturers in Derby and beyond to seize the opportunities of the energy transition.”

The pilot Nuclear AMRC Midlands opened in 2019 in the iHub on Infinity Park Derby, which is now home to the recently opened Nuclear Skills Academy, led by Rolls-Royce and the university.

Mr Storer said: “Our pilot centre at the iHub was a great success and has helped start the snowball effect of creating a real community for industry and innovation at Infinity Park.

“Along with our role in securing the Nuclear Skills Academy on the park, I am really proud of the role the Nuclear AMRC is playing to develop long-lasting support for the supply chain in the Midlands.”

The new 4,300 sq metre facility will build on Nuclear AMRC’s work by expanding the centre’s capabilities in technology areas to help UK manufacturers win work in the nuclear supply chain.

Around 30 researchers, engineers and support staff will work at the new facility when it opens in spring 2023, growing to at least 70 within five years.

It will specialise in emerging technology areas, including digital engineering, control and instrumentation systems, and additive manufacturing.

With an initial cost of around £20 million, the Nuclear AMRC Midlands building is supported by Derby City Council, and part-funded by £9 million from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

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