24 February 2017

Sheffield City Region is set to partner the world’s largest aerospace company, Boeing, in a multi-million pound investment, bringing new jobs and providing the region’s businesses with new supply chain opportunities, subject to contract agreement.

The announcement today (Friday 24 February) that the firm, subject to planning permission, plans to build its first factory in Europe alongside The University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Centre with Boeing (AMRC), comes just a fortnight after supercar manufacturer McLaren Automotive announced a move to the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID), between Sheffield and Rotherham.

This further cements Sheffield City Region (SCR’s) credentials as a global centre for innovation-inspired advanced manufacturing.

Boeing co-founded the AMRC with The University of Sheffield in 2001 and will deepen their partnership by also launching a new major research and development programme to establish new manufacturing technology and methods.

Recruitment for the proposed 2,300-square-metre Boeing Sheffield facility is anticipated to begin from late 2018, after a planned Boeing investment of more than £20 million into the site.

Boeing Sheffield will manufacture actuation systems – used on aeroplane wings – for Boeing’s Next-Generation 737, 737 MAX and 777 aircraft.

In bringing this project to the region, SCR has worked with The University of Sheffield’s AMRC with Boeing.

Sir Nigel Knowles, Chair of the SCR’s Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is fantastic news for the region and a major vote of confidence in our ability to combine R&D expertise with actually making things.

“This investment will play to the strengths of our supply chain and skilled workforce and I am delighted that such a highly respected world leader as Boeing recognised this.”

Councillor Leigh Bramall, deputy leader and cabinet member for business and economy at Sheffield City Council, said: “In a month when McLaren and Sheffield Forgemasters announced hugely significant new deals with the city and region, Boeing’s announcement is further evidence of the unique opportunities available within the AMID.

“As a region we are uniquely placed to provide world-scale, world-leading opportunities for some of the biggest global firms.

“But the effect will be felt by businesses across the local supply chain, creating highly-skilled jobs and opportunities for our people.”

“The U.K. provides Boeing with the talent and infrastructure we need to grow and maintain a high level of productivity and quality to meet our significant order book,” said Sir Michael Arthur, president of Boeing Europe and managing director of Boeing U.K. and Ireland.

“We are proud to expand our relationship with the U.K. still further with Boeing Sheffield. Our decision to start manufacturing high-value components in the U.K. is a step-change in our engagement and a further example of Boeing’s commitment to grow here, supporting the U.K.’s long-term prosperity.”


Notes to Editors

  • The Sheffield City Region Combined Authority will consider formal approval of the funding proposal at its March meeting.
  • Over the next 20 years Boeing is forecasting a demand for almost 40,000 airplanes, valued at more than £4.75trillion (www.boeing.co.uk/cmo). This drives a need for faster, more economic and more environmentally friendly production which can compete globally.
  • In turn this requires expertly trained and technically capable machine operators skilled in using state-of-the-art equipment.
  • Boeing already has a long-established relationship with the region’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing (AMRC), working on advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value manufacturing sectors.
  • The research elements of the project will support the development of aero structures of the future by reducing manufacturing times, and developing casting capability and automated processes.
  • The Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District is a Sheffield and Rotherham-based nucleus of innovation, research and technology, designed for collaboration and rapid commercialisation. It’s a 2,000-acre centre of excellence in metals and materials manufacturing, in Sheffield City Region adjacent to the M1 motorway.
  • The AMID will be a catalyst for innovation-led manufacturing across the Sheffield City Region (SCR) and Northern Powerhouse, attracting new international investors and generating an R&D revolution in the existing manufacturing base.
  • The area builds on SCR’s Enterprise Zone and houses many of the UK’s leading manufacturers, including Rolls Royce, Alcoa, Tata, Outokumpu and Forgemasters.
  • The AMID will be the place for leading manufacturers to go for research, technology transfer, production, networking and industrial collaboration.