Lancs leads the way

A new national support centre for manufacturers is set to open this summer in Lancashire.

Lancashire will be leading the way forward for the latest in manufacturing support when the Northern Technologies Advanced Manufacturing Centre opens in Burnley this summer.

Four years of worldwide best practice research has gone into the development, with its centrepiece, a technology demonstration centre, providing a working showcase of manufacturing technology in partnership with over 45 global providers. Companies will be able to view the very latest technology, understand its capabilities, and then if appropriate, receive specialist support to implement it.

The centre includes an advanced training facility, to assist in teaching the new technical skills required by industry, including the ‘Advanced Manufacturing Programme’ – a new way of training the next generation of apprentices. Research from the UK‘s manufacturing experts underpins the development, which is part of the new Lancashire Digital Technology Centre.

It will provide facilities into applied research and new product development, focused on stimulating the next generation of manufacturers and their supporting supply chain. In doing so the centre will draw on strong links forged with higher educational establishments across Europe, including Lancaster, LoughboroughUniversity and Warwick Manufacturing Group here in the UK.

Northern Technologies Business Development Director Steve Wilkinson said that a major strength of the development will be its ability to effectively support manufacturers and drive them into thinking differently about the future.

“The centre addresses the three major manufacturing issues head on: skills, new product development and technology exploitation,” said Wilkinson. “What makes us different is that we are driven directly by manufacturers and their needs. By linking with so many technology providers and combining this with the ideas and research we have created something very special.”

The Northern Technologies Advanced Manufacturing Centre is part of the Lancashire Digital Technology Centre, being developed by LTC Limited, a joint venture formed by Burnley Borough Council, Burnley College, Lancashire County Developments Limited and Northern Technologies.