Sheffield steelworks’ plan would create jobs

Firth Rixson at Meadowhall
Firth Rixson at Meadowhall
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SIXTY jobs will be created if plans by a Sheffield steelworks to build one of the largest hydraulic presses in the world get the go-ahead.

High tech engineering business Firth Rixson is planning to add a new hydraulic steel forging press at its steelworks near Meadowhall.

Four tempering forges, a pump room and associated infrastructure including cranes, storage and control areas would also be constructed on land that currently makes up the employee car park.

A replacement 110-space car park would be created on a neighbouring disused railway embankment.

The new forge is expected to create 60 jobs as well as have knock-on effects for other businesses which supply Firth Rixson.

Recommending approval at a meeting of Sheffield Council’s city centre, south and east planning board, council planning officers said: “The proposal represents a new addition to the existing Firth Rixson steelworks and is a significant investment into Sheffield.

“The new buildings will accommodate a new forge facility, including hydraulic press which will be one of the largest of its type in the world.”

Sheffield Council has received one letter from the public, praising the scheme.

The letter said: “It’s wonderful news for the British and Sheffield economy and is just what we need – skilled engineering jobs especially now the public sector is being squeezed.

“A press will be a lot quieter than traffic from the motorway.”

No objections have been made to the scheme from surrounding businesses, residents or public agencies.

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.

US private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in the business for £945m in 2007.

Led by chief executive David Mortimer, the company employs almost 2,000 workers worldwide.