Ground has now broken on the Welsh Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute (AMRI) in Broughton, with Economy Secretary Ken Skates welcoming the news.
Mr Skates described the institute as a “game changer” that would provide a new level of support to business and ensure collaboration between industry, academic partners and entrepreneurs in order to drive innovation, commercialisation, upskill the workforce and provide a catalyst for economic growth.
This aligns with a number of core elements of the Welsh Government’s strategy Economic Action Plan.
The Welsh Government is investing £20m in the new institute which will have a strong focus on advanced manufacturing sectors including aerospace, automotive, nuclear and food.
It will deliver a totally new level of support to key manufacturing companies as well as multi-sector supply chain companies and the broader SMEs economy and will be focused on increasing productivity, commercialisation, innovation and skills development.
The construction of the building in Broughton, which is due to be completed next year, is the first phase of a two-site project. The Broughton site is scheduled to open by the end of 2019.
Airbus has been confirmed as the first tenant for the AMRI at Broughton which it is predicted could increase GVA (gross value added) by as much as £4bn over 20 years.
The Welsh government is in advanced negotiation with AMRC Sheffield to operate the Centre and has recently appointed contractor Galliford Try to manage the construction phase.
The Economy Secretary said: “The Welsh Government is investing £20m in our new Advanced Manufacturing and Research Institute at Broughton, which will be a real game-changer in terms of the support on offer to businesses.
“The AMRI will enable collaboration focused on innovation, research and commercialisation between industry, academic partners and entrepreneurs and I am delighted that Airbus will be the first tenant of the centre and will be progressing an exciting project here focussed on future wing technology.
“The AMRI will target commercialisation and development of world-leading skills across the manufacturing spectrum as well as equipping the next generation of experts, innovators and leaders through training, to apprenticeship, to PhD level.
“This will ensure a thriving industrial base that will be a catalyst for economic growth across the supply chain, increasing productivity and supporting the competitiveness of Welsh industry at home and around the world."
Paul McKinlay, senior vice president of Airbus and head of Broughton Plant said: “We are delighted the Welsh Government selected the Broughton site as the location for this great new facility.
“The work we will conduct in AMRI will be a significant enabler for increased productivity not only for us in Airbus but also our wider supply chain.”
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