FIRST LOOK: Boeing Sheffield’s £40m factory

Boeing Sheffield - image by D5 architects
Boeing Sheffield - image by D5 architects
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Boeing has released images of how its £40m Sheffield factory will look.

The aerospace giant is doubling the size of its forthcoming facility, its first in Europe, in a massive vote of confidence in the city.

Boeing Sheffield goods in - image by D5 architects

Boeing Sheffield goods in - image by D5 architects

And following a groundbreaking ceremony, it has released architect’s images of the hi-tech building, set to open at the end of 2018.

James Needham, who is in charge of Boeing Sheffield, said they had merged phases One and Two, doubling the investment and the manufacturing space in one go.

The site on Sheffield Business Park will make parts for actuators, motors which move wingflaps. It comes 16 years after Boeing founded the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Sheffield University, which is based nearby.

Mr Needham, a Sheffield Hallam University materials engineering graduate, said it would employ 30 initially, growing to more than 50. Some 19 apprentices and two programmers have already been hired and the plan was to source all supplies locally.

Boeing Sheffield

Boeing Sheffield

He added: “Boeing likes to do things big. Since the project was announced it’s had more and more support from within the company, so the factory is doubling in size.

“That means it will be producing more components, and means more jobs and investment in the region

“One of the reasons Boeing is investing in Sheffield is access to talent. They need it in the supply chain as well as in the facility.”

Mr Needham spent 12 years working for the AMRC on research projects for firms including Rolls Royce, before being hired by Boeing in May.

Boeing Sheffield images

Boeing Sheffield images

The factory will be part of Boeing Fabrication, the company’s in-house manufacturing operation.

Kim Smith, vice-president of Boeing Fabrication, said: “There is definitely more to come. Today’s ceremony is symbolic and shows our commitment. I think this is just the beginning and an opportunity for Boeing Sheffield to impress.”

Sir Michael Arthur, president of Boeing Europe, said it was a big step for the firm.

He added: “They are very demanding, building the first European factory here is a big vote of confidence in Sheffield and the AMRC.”

James Needham, senior operations manager Boeing Sheffield

James Needham, senior operations manager Boeing Sheffield

The AMRC employs 650 while 800 apprentices attend the AMRC Training Centre.

Keith Ridgway, AMRC executive dean and co-founder, said: “Our first building was on this site and it would probably fit in our boardroom today. We always said we wanted Boeing to make parts here. The fact they are doubling the size already means there’s no reason why it can’t expand further.”

Boeing 777-300ER

Boeing 777-300ER

Boeing Sheffield - credit D5 architects

Boeing Sheffield - credit D5 architects

Don Hendrickson, Keith Ridgway, Kim Smith, James Needham, Sir Michael Arthur, Mike Starr and Adrian Allen. Pic Andrew Roe.

Don Hendrickson, Keith Ridgway, Kim Smith, James Needham, Sir Michael Arthur, Mike Starr and Adrian Allen. Pic Andrew Roe.

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