The Star's business review of 2019 (part 2) - jobs, jobs jobs
Some big projects were announced in South Yorkshire in 2019 which are set to create hundreds of jobs, help the environment, improve housing, create a limitless supply of green energy and change the face of Sheffield city centre.
Taken together they show the drive and dynamism of Sheffield’s business leaders, despite challenging conditions.
Fast growing educational Twinkl publisher has increased its team to 500 after opening a second office in Sheffield. The company, which has more than 625,000 resources for schools and educators, purchased a building at Hallamshire Business Park on Napier Street.
More than 90 staff have moved to the new building, with others continuing to work from the company’s headquarters at Wards Exchange on Ecclesall Road, as well as offices in Manchester and Australia.
A Sheffield manufacturer hopes to boost production by 70 per cent after borrowing £4.2m to buy machinery. Thos C Wild has installed a multi-million pound German-made automated punch press.
Bosses hope the upgraded facilities will boost turnover by 20 per cent in the next two years and cut waste.
Established in 1929, the firm produces forged rings for the oil and gas, aerospace and power generation sectors – from deep sea pipelines to jet engines and rockets.
It employs 70 at its Vulcan Works site on Tinsley Park Rd, including 18 graduates and apprentices.
Some 50 Sheffield businesses joined forces to help a school cut pollution with a living, green barrier.
Hunter’s Bar Infants installed bamboo, dwarf conifers and screens made of ivy around the playground to block exhaust fumes. Deep soil beds were planted in October.
Parent governor Rowan Hall said they hoped the 200ft long barrier would cut playground nitrogen dioxide levels - which are on the edge of European limits - by at least 20 per cent, improving health and concentration and cutting absenteeism among the 270 pupils.
The scheme could create a blueprint for the many other schools in Sheffield affected by traffic pollution.
A Tyneside call centre company opened a new site in Sheffield with room for 250 workers. EC Outsourcing took space in Dearing House on Young Street, near The Moor shopping area, and hired 20, with plans to add another 80 by the end of March next year.
Aerospace giant Boeing said it is keen to build another multi-million pound factory in Yorkshire following the success of its first plant in the region - but added it’s too soon to talk about when it might happen.
Anna Keeling, managing director of Boeing Defence UK, said South Yorkshire was an attractive base for the company due to its manufacturing skills and that Boeing Commercial was keen to expand its presence in the region.
The Star revealed plans for a second facility on the day Boeing’s first factory in Europe opened in Sheffield in October 2018.
Forgemasters is spending £10.5m on new manufacturing techniques in civil nuclear - its biggest ever research project. The Brightside steelmaker will explore industrialisation of ‘electron beam welding’ in making small, modular nuclear reactors.
Boss David Bond believes SMRs could hit a ‘sweet-spot’ at the firm which already has expertise in casting reactor vessels for nuclear subs.
The company will install an electron beam welder which offers “vast” reductions in manufacturing time and cost. It will then make a full-size small modular reactor pressure vessel, standing 14ft and measuring 10ft across.
An £80m cash pot set up by a pension fund has made its first loan - £8m for 52 low carbon homes in Sheffield.
The South Yorkshire Pension Fund is giving sustainable developer Citu the money for houses at Little Kelham in the city centre. They will be heated by carbon neutral renewable energy it says.
It will be the second phase of homes at the site which also includes homes, offices, bars, restaurants and refurbished buildings.
South Yorkshire manufacturers have been handed a major advantage as the world’s energy supplies go green after a £22m fusion energy research centre was launched in Rotherham.
The new UK Atomic Energy Authority facility will help commercialise nuclear fusion as a source of low-carbon electricity in the years ahead.
The aim is to develop ‘joining technologies’, such as welding metals and ceramics, and components, and help UK firms win contracts during the construction of the multi-billion euro International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor in France, which is set to be switched on in six years.
A Rotherham seal manufacturer is celebrating its 40th year with plans to spend £20m doubling the size of its headquarters and creating 200 jobs. AESSEAL has submitted plans for a new building on land next to its base on Mill Close, Templeborough.
It would include a 50,000 sq ft single-storey machine shop with a range of computerised machine tools, and a large engineering design office, and two-storey offices.
A collapsed hi-tech metals firm is set to create up to 200 jobs in a multi-million pound comeback.
Metalysis is hiring again and is set to receive up to £10m to ramp up production of rare metal powders after being bought out of administration.
In a remarkable move, Metalysis’ base on the Advanced Manufacturing Park is now the global headquarters and all worldwide operations are being rebranded to the name of the Rotherham firm.
Metalysis received £92m of investment after pioneering a fast, green and cheap method of making exotic powdered metals ideal for 3D printing. But it fell into administration in June after running out of cash. Some 47 staff were made redundant and two sites, including a factory in Wath, were closed, temporarily.
A new £10.5m Sheffield Hallam University food engineering centre in Sheffield is a mouthwatering addition to a vital industry.
The site on Attercliffe Road will educate a future workforce and drive innovations set to be used by firms such as McCain, Princes, Warburtons and Sheffield’s own Maxons Sweets - all of whom sent senior staff to the grand opening.
More than 2,500 people could be working in a former HSBC complex following a £50m project to create a giant new business centre in Sheffield.
New owner, RBH Properties, plans to revamp all five blocks, between Tenter Street and Silver Street Head, and let them to business.
It will be as big as Sheffield City Council’s ‘Heart of the City II’ scheme, but rents will be cheaper, according to director Simon Brock. The plan is to start on site in January.
A law firm is moving 350 people into the Heart of the City II in a multi-million pound boost for Sheffield city centre.
CMS has signed a 20-year lease on space in the HSBC building on Wellington Street, guaranteeing its long-term future in the city.
Staff are set to relocate from offices on Park Square roundabout in in autumn next year, coinciding with the firm’s 30-year anniversary in Sheffield.
It means the building, officially called Grosvenor House, will be full, delighting council chiefs who are bankrolling the £480m Heart of the City II scheme with taxpayers’ cash.
Sheffield’s biggest taxi firm has unveiled £50m plans to roll out 1,500 new cars - and become one of the first in Europe to go fully electric.
City Taxis is set to make the radical shift in a link-up with French car giant Nissan-Renault. It comes after plans were announced for a Clean Air Zone in Sheffield city centre charging £10-a-day for the most polluting vehicles and £50 for buses.
City bosses say they handle at least 20,000 bookings a week inside the proposed area and doing nothing would force them to put up fares, leading to a drop in journeys. That would harm the firm, the drivers and the economy.
Managing director Arnie Singh said the switch, by 2025, would not just improve the city’s air but its international image.