Let there be light on £20m Sheffield Boeing factory plan

The factory is set to stand at the western end of the old Sheffield City Airport site.
The factory is set to stand at the western end of the old Sheffield City Airport site.
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Boeing has submitted plans for a £20 million factory in Sheffield – its first in Europe – set to employ up to 50 staff working in two shifts.

The striking sawtooth roof aims to allow as much natural light as a possible through north-facing windows, with solar panels on the south sides.

Boeing unveiled plans for a factory making components for actuators – the motors that move wingflaps – in February.

Now documents submitted to Sheffield City Council show it wants to be ‘producing parts no later than January 2019’. The building is set to stand on Europa Link, at the western end of the former Sheffield City Airport site close to the junction with the Parkway.

Two production lines are planned, one making housings from aluminium castings while the other will make gears from steel bar. In total, they will produce 10,000 items a month, the application states.

It is understood they will make parts for the 737 and 777, but the factory could expand if it supplies new planes as they are developed.

The development will also include a residential training centre, conference room and outdoor and indoor recreation space.

Boeing chose Sheffield due to the world-class research facilities in the area.

It was a founding member of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, part of Sheffield University, in 2001.

The AMRC developed on the former Orgreave site in Rotherham but has since expanded on to the former airport site, now Sheffield Business Park, dubbed ‘AMRC2’.

The application states: ‘Boeing’s proposed development will be for a research and development facility at The University of Sheffield-owned AMRC2.

‘It will primarily be involved in the development of lightweight and strengthened aeronautical components for use in aviation technology.

“The proposed facility is essential to link into the research and delivery of advanced manufacturing with relationships with the AMRC2 and the Advanced Manufacturing Park’.

Boeing is receiving £5.75m of public money.