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Innovation District partners awarded £763,000 government funding to accelerate ambitious plans

Sheffield Town Hall

Sheffield City Council, working collaboratively with regional partners, has successfully secured £763,000 from the government for development of innovation-led opportunities connected to the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID). 

Awarded through the Government’s New Development Corporation Competition, the money will be used to unlock and accelerate transformational economic development activity across the AMID, which spans both Sheffield and Rotherham. 

It will also go towards improving connections to our communities, businesses and education providers. 

The AMID is home to the UK’s largest research-led advanced manufacturing cluster. It also boasts developing centres of innovation in health and wellbeing as well as vital energy research focussed on net-zero carbon processes. 

There are also proposals for further world-leading research in areas such as gene therapy, modern methods of construction and future mobility.  

With more than 30 nationally recognised research and development facilities, backed by Sheffield’s two outstanding universities, the AMID’s applied research capabilities are unrivalled and continue to attract world leading businesses such as McLaren, Rolls-Royce and Boeing. 

It also supports new and established businesses across South Yorkshire to adapt positively to new challenges and changing economic conditions.  

The AMID already hosts over 120 advanced manufacturing and tech firms which employ more than 2,300 people. Ambitious plans being developed aim to generate 4,000 new jobs and 2,000 additional apprenticeships. 

Improving access to the emerging economic opportunities will also involve place-based regeneration including improving local amenities, building public spaces and creating over 8,000 new homes within the AMID and its surrounding communities by 2040 - creating sustainable neighbourhoods for the next generation. 

Sheffield City Council has worked closely with Sheffield City Region, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park to secure the crucial funding. 

Councillor Terry Fox, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “We are delighted to have secured funding for the development of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District which will put Sheffield first and create many opportunities for businesses and the people of Sheffield, and our wider region.

“I am ambitious for Sheffield and the potential that we have, and I can’t wait for more people to see just how fantastic our city is and the exciting prospects ahead.”

Councillor Paul Turpin, Executive Member for Inclusive Economy, Jobs and Skills at Sheffield City Council, said: “This funding is another example of how we are investing in our future and I want to congratulate the team who worked tirelessly on the bid, for the benefit of local people.

“It means we can expand on the fantastic work achieved so far, creating a hub of innovation and technology that will attract more world-renowned companies and manufacturers to our wonderful city and firmly establish Sheffield and South Yorkshire at the cutting edge of future technological innovation.” 

Kevin Kerrigan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Business and Enterprise at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “This funding enables us to shape a compelling future vision for advanced innovation in Sheffield, Rotherham and the wider region, to embrace community building alongside business growth and to showcase our creativity and application to the world. 

“Sheffield Hallam University will be a key partner in delivering a world leading innovation district that is a catalyst for investment and growth.”

Dr Chris Low, CEO at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, said: “The bid team put together a great submission that compellingly captured the region’s vision and ambition for the next phase of developing AMID as a world-leading inclusive innovation district.

“This funding will accelerate plans to design and create a delivery vehicle that is capable of channelling the formidable resources of public and private sector partners towards the achievement of this goal.”

Dr Sarah Want, Director of Partnerships & Regional Engagement at the University of Sheffield said: “We are delighted that the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District has been awarded funding to enable its further development. 

“Over the last two decades, we’ve worked very hard with regional partners and have seen how the clustering of local businesses, national and global companies and our research facilities has led to inward investment and provided opportunities for regional manufacturers to expand into new markets and for the region’s skills base to develop.

“For all partners, it's very exciting to receive this funding as a recognition of the things that we’ve already achieved together. We're looking forward to working with partners old and new to realise even more of the region’s potential through this project.”

Rotherham Council’s cabinet member for jobs and the local economy, Cllr Denise Lelliott, said: “The partnership between Rotherham and Sheffield has already helped to secure high quality jobs with world renowned companies, and high quality homes as well. 

“This funding will help us to maximise opportunities in the future as we continue to support world class advanced manufacturing across South Yorkshire and we look forward to working with our partners across the region.”

Mayor of South Yorkshire, Dan Jarvis said: “This funding is great news. We’ve been working closely with Sheffield, Rotherham and the universities to develop the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District into a world-class centre of innovation and productivity. 

“This funding will mean more high-quality jobs, more homes and will help us deliver the future we want for South Yorkshire.”