Jobs joy as £14m Sheffield forge is approved

Machinist Carl Otter turning forged blanks at Abbey Forged Products.
Machinist Carl Otter turning forged blanks at Abbey Forged Products.
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A Sheffield forgings company is set to spend £14m on new premises and create up to 55 jobs - its largest ever investment.

Abbey Forged Products was granted planning permission for a press building on a new site on Beeley Wood Lane, Wadsley Bridge.

It will centre on a 3,000 tonne press - the firm’s first - and include furnaces and ‘manipulator’ vehicles to transport red hot forgings .

Work is set to start in three months and the new forge open fully in 2019.

Abbey currently uses 60 hundred weight hammers at its headquarters, also on Beeley Wood Lane.

Managing director Jackie Neal said obtaining permission was a big relief after four years on the project.

She added: “It’s a big moment, we’ve been working on the planning element alone for more than a year.

“This is about expanding our capabilities. We could have hired the press work in, but if people don’t think you have the capability they won’t come to you.”

The company was committed to the scheme despite the biggest slump in the oil and gas sector for a generation, she added.

Abbey has bought a plot off Limestone Cottage Lane which borders the planned £65m Beeley Wood Sustainable Industries Park, set to feature an anaerobic digestion plant and biomass power station.

The new forge could be the first in the country to be powered by green energy.

In September, Beeley Wood Biogas Ltd submitted plans for an anaerobic digestion plant on a site off Claywheels Lane.

The £10m facility will create power from food waste and process up to 65,000 tonnes of biodegradeable material a year set to come from a waste recycling centre next door.

Abbey Forged Products has grown from 25 staff in 2004 to 210 today.

It makes parts for oil rigs and has branched out into the nuclear and defence sectors in recent times.

A £2.5m extension to the existing forge is under construction and will come on stream in February. The firm also stocks ingots and billets of stainless steel alloys which are sawed, forged, heat treated and machined on site.