Airbus will be the first tenants of AMRC Cymru, a £20m research and development facility that opened in North Wales yesterday (November 28, 2019).
The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Cymru is located near Airbus’ wing-manufacturing plant in Broughton and was opened by first minister of Wales Mark Drakeford and economy and North Wales minister Ken Skates.
“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,” said Colin Sirett, University of Sheffield AMRC CEO.
Situated in the Deeside Enterprise Zone AMRC Cymru will operate a 2,000m2 open access research area focussing on advanced manufacturing sectors including aerospace, automotive, nuclear and food. It is predicted the new facility could increase GVA to the Welsh economy by as much as £4bn over the next 20 years.
“The Deeside Enterprise Zone has a strong manufacturing base and this development will further strengthen its position for the future, sparking innovation and productivity,” said Drakeford. “It will ensure the area is at the forefront of cutting-edge skills in manufacturing.”
According to AMRC Cymru, Airbus will use the facility to develop their next-generation wing technologies aligned to its ‘Wing of Tomorrow’ programme, which is part of a global Airbus investment in research and innovation.
“AMRC Cymru is a real game-changer for the economy of North Wales. It will boost the region’s reputation for manufacturing excellence and its impact will be felt across Wales,” said Skates. “It will play a key role in bringing academia and businesses closer together, boosting skills and innovation. It will raise productivity in the region and along with the North Wales Growth Deal and our investment in infrastructure will allow North Wales to fulfil its economic ambition.”