Rotherham has been chosen as the base for a Government-backed initiative to introduce new technologies and manufacturing processes to the automotive industry.
A new “proving facility” is to be built in the town to capitalise on the expertise of South Yorkshire engineering steels specialist Tata Steel Speciality Steel and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.
Brinsworth has been mooted as a possible site for the initiative, which will also involve partners – including companies that make automotive power trains, engines, gas turbines, and turbochargers.
The initiative is being led by Productiv, a London-based consultancy with operations in Wales and at the Motor Industry Research Association’s Technology Park in the Midlands.
Funding comes from the Government’s £125 million Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative. Work at Rotherham is expected to centre on taking new innovations and developing systems for mass production.
Rotherham’s success in attracting the project has been welcomed by local business leaders and politicians.
Mark Broxholme, managing director of Tata Steel’s speciality steels business, said the initiative was “an exciting collaborative project” that would allow the UK to develop and manufacture new, low carbon technologies for use in the next generation of hybrid and electric vehicles.
Rotherham Council leader Roger Stone added: “It is good to see that another industry-leading research centre will be located in Rotherham. With the world-class facilities we already have at the Advanced Manufacturing Park, demonstrating expertise in advanced manufacturing industries such as aerospace and power generation, the addition of this automotive proving facility further strengthens our claim to be the centre of the UK’s advanced manufacturing heartland.”
The development has also been welcomed by Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership chairman James Newman, who said: “The new proving factory will join our growing community of advanced manufacturing researchers in the Sheffield City Region and will help to boost further growth in the industry.”