Study set to boost AMID connectivityPublished Monday, 5th December 2016
A major study that aims to improve the road network up to the rapidly-growing Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) is being driven forward.
Sheffield City Council and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council will lead a detailed £1.4m study after funding was announced by the Department for Transport exploring solutions to improve capacity at Junctions 33 and 34 of the M1 which serve the AMID between Sheffield and Rotherham.
Improving connectivity to the AMID will attract more innovative companies to move there, and enable people and businesses across the Sheffield City Region to access new opportunities in growing markets, realising benefits from innovation, research and technology designed for collaboration and rapid commercialisation.
Officers will now develop a business case to improve capacity, address air quality issues and create an environment where public transport service provision becomes more sustainable.
Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for infrastructure and transport at Sheffield City Council, said: “The Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) has the potential to be a catalyst for innovation-led growth across the Sheffield City Region (SCR) and Northern Powerhouse and we will now move forward with a business case designed to improve connectivity.
"Improving transport infrastructure that unlocks future capacity is critical if we are to realise AMID’s full economic potential.
"AMID's open-innovation approach and model of industry-university collaboration is attracting businesses who can benefit from close proximity to the world-class research and development facilities of our two leading Universities. By developing high quality connectivity we can continue to build upon this success.”
Councillor Denise Lelliott, Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, added: "The Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation District is ideally situated in the heart of the UK and we are very proud to see it fast becoming the UK centre of excellence for research, manufacturing and technology. This funding will allow us to investigate and put a good case forward for an improved infrastructure to support this expanding area, leading to faster journeys and encouraging further future growth in the district."
Sir Nigel Knowles, Chair of Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “This investment by the Government for an important transport study in Sheffield City Region is excellent news. It is an important project for our region and the country and demonstrates the recognition by Government that our region needs infrastructure investment to unlock its terrific economic potential."
AMID already houses many of the UK’s leading manufacturers, including such as Rolls Royce, Aloca, Tata, Outokumpu and Forgemasters and has the growth potential to play a critical role nationally and internationally; the place for leading manufacturers to come for research, technology transfer, and production, networking and industrial collaboration.
The reputation of AMID as a place with world-class R&D facilities, open innovation approach and industry-university collaboration is attracting a growing cluster of high-value manufacturers and skilled engineers; who co-locate with particular intensity in the Sheffield – Rotherham Economic Corridor (SREC), just off junctions 33 and 34 of the M1. At the heart of this corridor is the University of Sheffield’s ‘Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre’ (AMRC).