Her Majesty The Queen launches construction of Nuclear AMRC


Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, officially launched building work on the new Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC), during a visit to Yorkshire and Humber today.
Her Majesty donned a set of virtual reality glasses to remotely activate a digger from inside the AMRC's MANTRA (Manufacturing Transporter). MANTRA is a customised lorry and trailer designed to give aspiring young engineers a hands-on experience with state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies, including a 3D virtual reality system used for product design, simulation and training.
Funding totalling £22million for the NAMRC was announced last year by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Yorkshire Forward, with the investment into Yorkshire and Humber’s manufacturing industry expected to put the region at the very heart of the UK’s energy sector.
South Yorkshire was chosen as the base for the UK’s new NAMRC, as part of the Government’s Low Carbon drive and will provide a focal point for the bulk of the UK civil nuclear manufacturing industry supply chain. The Centre will ensure that manufacturers in the UK have the capability and capacity required to compete for nuclear new build in the UK and globally; from skills training to research and development and the production of components and systems.
Based on the world leading Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham and led by the University of Sheffield in partnership with University of Manchester, the NAMRC has the backing of leading companies involved in building the new generation of civil nuclear power stations including Rolls- Royce as a lead industrial partner.
The NAMRC will incorporate 8000 sq m of factory-scale research facilities, laboratories, and office and meeting space. The landmark building is scheduled for completion in autumn 2011 and is expected to create around 100 direct staff, including academic researchers, technicians and apprentices, with hundreds more in supply chains across the region.
Terry Hodgkinson CBE, Chair of Yorkshire Forward, attended the event and commented: “We are honoured that Her Majesty The Queen is here today to launch the construction of the NAMRC, a facility which will put this region at the very heart of the UK’s energy sector for many years to come.  
“Yorkshire Forward has worked closely with partners and Government to secure investment for the NAMRC and in doing so, the cutting edge facilities at the AMP and the quality of our region’s academic and business skills base have been recognised.
“The UK's nuclear programme is expected to create over 4,500 engineering jobs over the next 25 years and well over a £1bn a year to the industry. Today’s start on site cements Yorkshire and Humber’s position as a centre of excellence for manufacturing, to a global marketplace, securing and creating jobs now and in the future.” 
Yorkshire Forward’s support for the NAMRC is the latest in a long line of strategic investments supporting advanced manufacturing across Yorkshire and Humber, including over £80million in the AMP since its inception. The Vision for the AMP was also extended for three years this month, with partners UK Coal, ensuring that ‘a platform for the exploitation of current and new manufacturing and material technologies to strengthen the regional economy and provide a competitive advantage to tenants and their partners in selective industry sectors’ until 2013.

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