The Government is investing millions of pounds more in Sheffield City Region (SCR) Enterprise Zone to make sure that companies have the world-class facilities they need to thrive and create jobs for hard-working people, Communities Minister Lord Ahmad announced on the 6th of March.
The Minister officially marked the start of work on a new £4.5 million development at the Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre, which will provide vital extra workspace for companies wanting to move or expand at the site and space for up to 200 more high-quality jobs.
The Technology Centre is a vital part of the SCR Enterprise Zone and has proved a real success with small to medium start-up businesses over the past three years. The current two buildings have been close to full capacity for the past 12 months.
The new facility is due to open in September and will mean the Government has invested more than £30 million in supporting the Enterprise Zone, providing a real boost to the local construction sector and wider economy.
Communities Minister Lord Ahmad said: “It’s great to be here in Sheffield City Region to get work underway on these much-needed new workshops and offices. This site has been a real success story and our investment will make sure that companies have the right kind of facilities to grow and create even more jobs for hard-working people. It shows we were right to put Enterprise Zones at the heart of our long-term economic plan. They’re really starting to deliver, providing a boost to local economies and communities.”
Owned by the Homes and Communities Agency, the Technology Centre is at the heart of Harworth Estates’ wider Advanced Manufacturing Park, which was launched to create a world-class centre for manufacturing firms and is home to global giant Rolls Royce.
Jane Hunt, area manager at the Homes and Communities Agency, said: “Our latest investment at the Advanced Manufacturing Park will ensure that local businesses can continue to grow and develop in the Enterprise Zone. This latest building will grow on the success of the advanced manufacturing concept that has helped create this international centre of excellence.”
James Newman, Chairman of Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “The Enterprise Zone is an essential ingredient in the delivery of our ambitious 10 year Economic Strategy and is yielding impressive results. Its success is as a result of continued collaboration between Harworth Estates, Sheffield Business Park, the University of Sheffield, Sheffield CC and Rotherham MBC.”
As part of the Government’s Enterprise Zone programme, companies moving to the Advanced Manufacturing Park can benefit from a range of top-class business incentives, including tax incentives, simplified planning and super fast broadband to companies.
This has helped deliver real momentum to the site, which currently houses more than 40 companies that employ nearly 700 people. One of those companies is ITM Power, which is currently building a hydrogen refuelling station for fuel cell electric vehicles, due to open in the summer. The Minister had the chance to discuss the progress of the firm and took a short journey in a hydrogen powered Hyundai FCEV.
Graham Cooley, Chief Executive Officer, ITM Power, said: “We very much welcome Lord Ahmad’s support for hydrogen vehicle infrastructure deployment and for the opportunity to drive him in the first fuel cell electric vehicle to be launched in the UK. Support for UK science, technology and manufacturing from Lord Ahmad is also very encouraging and we look forward to keeping him informed”.
The Minister also discussed progress of Harworth’s Waverley development with Development Manager Duncan Armstrong-Payne, which will provide nearly 4,000 homes alongside shops, restaurants, schools and leisure facilities. Alongside the Advanced Manufacturing Park, it is Yorkshire’s largest ever mixed-use brownfield development and will create more than 3,500 jobs in addition to adding £335m in Gross Value Added to the local economy.