Special 60th birthday Royal meetings for firms

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Representatives from a wide range of manufacturing businesses got the chance to meet the Duke of York during his visit to South Yorkshire’s Advanced Manufacturing Park to officially open the new Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

Among them were three local companies – bakers Fosters, construction firm Ackroyd & Abbott and JCI Barnsley, the Barnsley branch of the international personal development organisation for young managers – all of which celebrate their 60th birthday during the Queen’s Jubilee year.

Sheffield University professor Keith Ridgway, the Nuclear AMRC programme director, said: “We are delighted that The Duke of York has agreed to open the Nuclear AMRC.

“The new centre has a huge role to play in assisting UK manufacturers to enter the nuclear new build market, both at home and globally. The support we provide will have a huge impact on the number and value of contracts that UK manufacturers can win.”

The Nuclear AMRC is managed by Sheffield University, with support from Manchester University’s Dalton Nuclear Institute and combines academic innovation with industry expertise to help UK manufacturers seize the opportunities offered by new investment in nuclear power and other innovative energy technologies.

Its operations are led by its 34industrial members – companies that include nuclear reactor developers Areva and Westinghouse, top-tier suppliers such as Rolls-Royce, Tata Steel and Sheffield Forgemasters and specialist small and medium sized enterprises.

The environmentally friendly NAMRC building was designed by Sheffield architects Bond Bryan and work on the centre was started by The Queen 18 months ago when she donned a pair of virtual reality glasses and remotely operated a digger to remove the first soil.

The Nuclear AMRC is based around a 5,000 sq metre open-plan workshop, containing a range of state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment tailored for nuclear industry applications. It also includes offices, laboratories and technical support space, a large virtual reality room and secure meeting rooms.

Work at the Nuclear AMRC is focused on engineering giant components used to make nuclear reactors.