The wraps are poised to come off a £22 million initiative today that puts Rotherham at the heart of the development of eco-friendly cars for the future.
Plans are to develop a cutting-edge green automotive technologies ‘Proving Factory,’ on vacant land at Tata’s Brinsworth Strip Mill, which could create hundreds of hi-tech jobs for the region.
The factory will take new, eco-friendly, automotive innovations from prototype stage, test them and develop modern manufacturing process for industry to make them.
It will operate in much the same way that the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre has done for aerospace and other sectors.
Ultimately, the Brinsworth development will include a production and assembly facility, which will industrialise innovation and make components for the automotive supply chain.
The Proving Factory project is being led by consultancy company Productiv, which acts as a bridge between green technology developers and vehicle manufacturers.
It has already attracted almost £13 million in funding from the Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative
Leading companies, including steel giant Tata, Jaguar Land Rover, LuK parent group Schaeffler and Unipart are joining forces with the Motor Industry Research Association and the AMRC to support the initiative.
The project has already won the backing of local politicians, like Rotherham Council leader Roger Stone, and regeneration leaders ahead of today’s official launch.
Coun Stone said the addition of the Proving Factory to the existing expertise and world class facilities at the Advanced Manufacturing Park at Catcliffe further strengthened the areas claims to be at the centre of advanced manufacturing in the UK.