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Green light for Lancashire advanced manufacturing facility

A new £20 million state-of-the-art manufacturing research facility has been given the go ahead in Lancashire to enhance the region’s manufacturing base and work with local supply chains.

A new £20 million state-of-the-art manufacturing research facility has been given the go ahead in Lancashire to enhance the region’s manufacturing base and work with local supply chains.

The world-leading University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) has been given permission to build the new research facility in Samlesbury, in the heart of Lancashire’s aerospace and advanced manufacturing cluster.

The 4,500m2 ‘AMRC North West’ facility will focus on vehicle electrification, battery assembly and light weighting technologies. The building will house machine tools, additive and hybrid manufacturing, automated assembly, robotics, autonomous manufacturing processes and systems, and other related technologies.

A high-performing technical R&D team will be based at the site to work with manufacturing companies and their supply chains. The team is currently operating from interim facilities provided by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), where it is already working with more than 65 SME manufacturers as part of its remit to enhance the region’s manufacturing base.

Melissa Conlon, Commercial Director for 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.”

Steve Fogg, Chairman of the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which helped to fund the project, added:

“We expect considerable synergies between the AMRC and the growing number of top-class, high-tech facilities that are already [nearby] and it will also complement UCLan’s Engineering Innovation Centre.”

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An artist impression showing the new University of Sheffield AMRC North West facility. Credit: AMRC

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