BUSINESS MONTHLY: ‘star trek’ factory is set to stun

Factory 2050 prepares for take off
Factory 2050 prepares for take off
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Beam me up Scotty.

Set for completion this month, the £43m Factory 2050 looks uncannily like the Starship Enterprise.

With its circular centre linked to a straight wing, the futuristic building taking shape on the old Sheffield City Airport - now Sheffield Business Park - looks as though it is set for blast off.

The sky’s the limit for the factory, which is designed so that hi-tech equipment can easily be rearranged for wildly different tasks.

The building is for the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, part of Sheffield University, was designed by Sheffield architects Bond Bryan and is being built by Interserve Construction.

It is set to stand at the heart of a second cluster of university research buildings mirroring the original AMRC on the Rotherham side of the Parkway.

Gordon Kew, Interserve’s managing director for UK Building, said: “This is a truly world class project that will help ensure the region remains at the forefront of the advanced manufacturing sector. Once completed, it will provide a fantastic environment for researchers and engineers.”

Prof Keith Ridgway, executive dean of the AMRC with Boeing, said: “Our ambition is for Factory 2050 to be the most advanced in the world. Over the last 10 years, our vision to create a centre where engineering research is translated into real practical applications for world-leading industries has been hugely successful.

“Factory 2050 is a vital next step in ensuring we can maximise the opportunities and benefits to Sheffield City Region and secure our place as an international centre of excellence in advanced manufacturing.

“We want Factory 2050 to be the most advanced factory in the world and part of our long-term development of high value manufacturing – an area where this region has an international lead.

“The development will ensure that the UK’s advanced manufacturing supply chain can tap into the expertise it needs to make the most of those trends.

“Factory 2050 has also been designed to make young people enthusiastic about a career in advanced manufacturing.”

It will employ up to 75.

The development is also another step towards an Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District, set to be Europe’s largest research-led advanced manufacturing cluster, combining research institutions, companies and incubators with the benefits of urban living.