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Royal opening for Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre

posted 29 May 2012, 03:00 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 29 May 2012, 03:00 ]
The Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC) has being officially opened by The Duke of York.

His Royal Highness met with representatives from a wide range of manufacturing businesses, and found out how the Nuclear AMRC is helping them become more competitive, before he officially declared the state-of-the-art research factory open.

His Royal Highness has a continued interest in supporting facilities such as this that are a key part of ensuring that British businesses are at the forefront of science and engineering globally.

Professor Keith Ridgway CBE, programme director of the Nuclear AMRC, said: "We are delighted that The Duke of York has agreed to open the Nuclear AMRC. The new centre has a huge role to play in assisting UK manufacturers to enter the nuclear new build market, both at home and globally. The support we provide will have a huge impact on the number and value of contracts that UK manufacturers can win."

Managed by the University of Sheffield with support from the University of Manchester Dalton Nuclear Institute, the Nuclear AMRC combines academic innovation with industry expertise to help UK manufacturers seize the opportunities of new investment in nuclear power and other innovative energy technologies.

The Nuclear AMRC's research and operations are led by its industrial members - 34 companies are currently full members, from reactor providers Areva and Westinghouse, and top-tier suppliers such as Rolls-Royce, Tata Steel and Sheffield Forgemasters, through to specialised SMEs.

Simon Spode, marketing manager at the AMP commented: "The official opening of the Nuclear AMRC adds to the range of world-class research and development work that takes place here at the Advanced Manufacturing Park. This makes it the UK's premier manufacturing technology park, and one of the world's best locations for this type of work.

"The research work being carried out at the Nuclear AMRC will benefit UK companies, both locally and nationally, and also increase the attractiveness of the AMP and the Sheffield region for advanced manufacturing companies considering expansion or relocation."

James Newman, chairman of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, added: "It has been an honour to welcome Prince Andrew to the Sheffield City Region and I was particularly interested to hear His Royal Highness' views on how we will meet the City Region's future education, training and skills needs. His views are particularly relevant to the LEP as they are aligned with what we are currently asking Government Ministers to support."

The Nuclear AMRC's main facility is located on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, next to the established University of Sheffield AMRC with Boeing. The Nuclear AMRC is based around an open-plan 5,000 sq m workshop, containing a range of state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment tailored for nuclear industry applications.

The building also features accommodation over three stories, including laboratory and technical support space, an immersive virtual reality room for assembly research and training, office space and secure meeting rooms. Work at the Nuclear AMRC focuses on metals engineering and does not involve nuclear critical aspects such as fuels or other radioactive materials.

Following the opening of the Nuclear AMRC building, The Duke of York visited the University of Sheffield's new Knowledge Transfer Centre, also located on the AMRC campus to meet local companies which have been in business for 60 years, as part of the Jubilee celebrations.