4 minute read - 14th July 2023
South Yorkshire named as first UK Investment Zone
Communities in Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley are set to benefit from thousands of new jobs and £1.2bn of investment as part of the UK’s first government-backed advanced manufacturing Investment Zone.
A total of 12 Investment Zones will be established across the UK, based around a university and one of the government’s key growth sectors including advanced manufacturing, life sciences, green industries, digital and technology, and creative industries.
Building on the area’s strengths, the South Yorkshire Investment Zone is focused on advanced manufacturing and includes the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. It’s expected that the Investment Zone will help leverage more than £1.2bn of private funding and help support more than 8,000 jobs by 2030.
Each Investment Zone will also be backed with £80m of government support for a range of interventions which could include skills, infrastructure and tax reliefs, depending on local circumstances, helping drive more business activity and productivity.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt welcomed the first of the 12 zone investments as he met executives from Boeing at the AMRC’s Factory 2050.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, said: “Our first Investment Zone is a shining example of how we will drive growth across the country. It’s already secured more than £80 million of private investment, including backing from Boeing, and will help support more than 8,000 jobs by 2030.”
Michael Gove, secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, added: “Today’s announcement is a significant moment for South Yorkshire as it becomes the home of England’s first advanced manufacturing Investment Zone. This will help level up the region, creating jobs and boosting economic growth. We want to build on South Yorkshire’s proud heritage so that it can make an even greater contribution to the UK economy. This is what levelling up is all about, promoting growth and providing opportunities so people can thrive in the communities they are from.”
The announcement of an investment worth more than £80m for a portfolio of research & development projects, backed by Boeing, will look at the future of aerospace. Boeing will work with industry partners, Spirit AeroSystems and Loop Technology at the AMRC’s Factory 2050 in Sheffield Business Park.
The project, co-funded by industry and government, including through the Aerospace Technology Institute programme, and with support from the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and the University of Sheffield, puts the UK at the cutting edge of aviation research, development and manufacturing as demand for commercial aircraft is forecasted to be greater than 40,000 over the next 20 years.
Boeing has a long history in South Yorkshire – its programme can be traced back to the company co-founding the AMRC with the University of Sheffield around 22 years ago. Since then, the AMRC has spawned the advanced manufacturing campus in the former brown-field site including Boeing’s first European factory.
Kemi Badenoch, business and trade secretary, concluded: “Boeing and its partners’ investment in the new Investment Zone is a major vote of confidence in our world-leading aerospace sector and adds to the nearly £400 million of government-backed funding for aerospace projects we’ve announced in 2023 alone. Our forthcoming plan for advanced manufacturing will build on this success and help ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of the industries of the future, creating high-quality jobs and economic growth right across the country.”
Government will continue to work with South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and other local partners to co-develop the plans for their advanced manufacturing Investment Zone, including agreeing priority development sites and specific interventions to drive cluster growth, over the summer ahead of final confirmation of plans.
At Spring Budget, the chancellor announced eight places in England as eligible to host an Investment Zone. Each was invited to identify an Investment Zone that offered an imaginative partnership between local government and a university or research institute in a way that catalyses emerging innovation clusters. The South Yorkshire announcement follows a joint announcement by the UK and Scottish Governments that there will be two Investment Zones in Scotland, with Glasgow City Region and North East of Scotland offering the most potential to host these. Discussions will now begin with both regions to develop detailed proposals.
The government is also working closely with the devolved administrations to establish how Investment Zones in Wales and Northern Ireland will be delivered.