‘Project Goliath’ to create steelworks jobs

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A SHEFFIELD steelworks is set to create 60 jobs after plans to build one of the largest hydraulic presses in the world were given the green light.

High-tech engineering business Firth Rixson won approval from Sheffield Council’s city centre, south and east planning committee to build a hydraulic steel forging press on land which currently houses the employee car park.

Four tempering forges, a pump room and associated infrastructure including cranes, storage and control areas will be constructed at the site, near Meadowhall. Yorkshire Water had previously lodged an objection to the proposal, but it has been withdrawn following talks with planners.

Lucy Bond, planning officer at Sheffield Council, said: “This scheme would make the business capable of meeting demands from manufacturers across the world and hopefully that will have knock-on effects.”

The scheme - named Project Goliath due to its scale - was met with praise from councillors and case officers.

Coun Andrew Sangar, who sits on the committee, said: “These are 60 quality, well-paid jobs and this is important for Sheffield.”

Fellow committee member Coun David Baker added: “I cannot let this pass without commenting on how welcome this news is here. We are in a difficult economic climate. This city is reliant on its steel heritage and the fact we will still be building world-class forges is absolutely fantastic.

“I really welcome this and think it is superb for the city.”

Founded in the early 1800s, Firth Rixson makes forged metal parts at 12 factories in the UK, US, China and Hungary and is a world-leading provider to the aerospace market.