‘World-class facility’ AMRC Cymru opens

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The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Cymru has opened for business in Broughton, Wales, with the aim of being a catalyst for growth and jobs in Deeside, across North Wales and the wider cross-border and Northern Powerhouse region.

The centre will look to provide businesses with a new level of research and development opportunities and support. It will enable businesses to access advanced technologies, helping them to drive improvements in productivity, performance and quality.

The AMRC was officially opened by First Minister Mark Drakeford and Economy and North Wales Minister Ken Skates on yesterday (28 November).

Drakeford said: “This is a world-class facility, which will be a key driver in bringing the latest research, technology and skills to Deeside and the wider North Wales region.

“The Deeside Enterprise Zone has a strong manufacturing base and this centre will further strengthen its position for the future, sparking innovation and productivity.It will ensure the area is at the forefront of cutting-edge skills in manufacturing. AMRC Cymru will be of benefit for generations to come in North Wales and is part of our aim to have a more prosperous and equal Wales.”

Situated in the Deeside Enterprise Zone, it will focus on advanced manufacturing sectors, including aerospace, automotive, nuclear and food.The region has a strong manufacturing base and AMRC Cymru will build on this, driving research and expertise across the supply chain.

Backed by £20m from Welsh Government, and managed by the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, the centre will also aim to spark economic growth by developing innovation, commercialisation and the development of a new generation of skills.

The centre will operate a 2,000 square metre open access research area. Airbus will be the first major tenant and will have a platform to develop its next-generation wing technologies aligned to its Wing of Tomorrow programme, which is part of a global Airbus investment in research and innovation.

Colin Sirett, University of Sheffield AMRC CEO, described AMRC Cymru as a landmark moment for both Wales and the UK. “We share the Welsh government’s ambition and vision to spark growth and productivity for the area and are very proud of this new addition to the University of Sheffield AMRC’s stable of world-class facilities, which will be a beacon for innovation and advanced manufacturing in Wales and the Northern Powerhouse,” Sirett said.

“AMRC Cymru will not only help Welsh industry to develop new capabilities that build on an already rich manufacturing heritage, but it will strengthen collaboration between industry and academic partners and put Wales centre stage with a leading role in developing cutting edge research, technologies and skills that are key to boosting productivity and growing the economy.”

AMRC Cymru was designed and project managed by Arup and the construction was carried out by Galliford Try.