Innovation district attracting huge interest from region’s manufacturing businesses

Innovation district attracting huge interest from region’s manufacturing businesses

30 April 2015

Source: BDaily, journalist credit Nick Hill

Businesses around the region are already showing lots of interest in an advanced manufacturing innovation district that will be built on the Sheffield-Rotherham boundary.

The innovation district is expected to provide a significant boost to Sheffield City Region’s commercial property market.

Property consultancy Knight Frank reports an increased interest from manufacturing businesses in the region and renewed enquiries from manufacturers and materials suppliers, who are keen to relocate close to the University of Sheffield’s Factory 2050 at Sheffield Business Park and the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP).

Knight Frank also indicates that the impact of an advance manufacturing district will greatly benefit the property market beyond the Sheffield-Rotherham corridor as the manufacturing supply chain across South Yorkshire capitalises on growing business opportunities.

The advanced manufacturing innovation district announcement was made by Sheffield and Rotherham councils during a visit to the region by Bruce Katz, vice president of the Washington DC-based Brookings Institution and author of The Rise of Innovation Districts.

The district aim is to capitalise on innovation within the manufacturing and technology industries, led by collaboration between businesses and Universities and focusing on the area surrounding the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

Rebecca Schofield, partner at the Sheffield office of Knight Frank, said: “The promotion of an advanced manufacturing innovation district is an exciting prospect for the continued commercial property evolution along the Sheffield-Rotherham corridor, but has much wider implications for the Sheffield City Region as the location becomes renowned for its advanced manufacturing opportunities.

“We are already seeing increased clustering of manufacturing businesses and renewed enquiries from suppliers associated with advanced manufacturing, looking to locate within the Sheffield City Region.

“There is a noticeable hotspot at Sheffield Business Park, where phase two of the site, adjacent to Factory 2050 extends to 50 acres and is offered on a build to suit basis.

“As the region’s status for excellence in manufacture increases, we can safely anticipate increased investment to accommodate demand, which will significantly strengthen the South Yorkshire market.”

Graham Sadler, managing director of Sheffield Business Parks, said: “The University of Sheffield’s decision to locate Factory 2050 will play a key role in attracting other advanced manufacturing and research facilities to Sheffield Business Park. Factory 2050 is already under construction and is scheduled for completion in the autumn of 2015. With further projects in the pipeline Sheffield Business Park together with AMP is set to become the nucleus of the UK’s Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District.”