Construction firm Henry Boot Construction has been appointed to deliver the next development for the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

The development is a new open-access research facility, which will be home to Composites at Speed and Scale (COMPASS). 

Project COMPASS is dedicated to developing and testing new technologies needed to meet future demand for lighter commercial aircraft and support the aviation industry’s commitment to reach net zero by 2050.

The first research programme to take place in the facility will be the Isothermic High-Rate Sustainable Structures (IHSS) project led by aerospace giant Boeing, in partnership with AMRC, Loop Technology and Spirit AeroSystems.

Construction on the research facility has now begun after the project team gathered for a ceremony. (Source: Henry Boot Construction)

A planning application for the development was approved earlier this year, with Henry Boot Construction getting work underway earlier this month.

Tony Shaw, Managing Director from Henry Boot Construction, said: “We take great pride in being appointed as the lead contractor on the AMRC’s newest research facility.

“As a company with significant experience in the region, we are committed to working with local supply chain partners wherever possible and helping to grow the regional economy,”

Plans for the new facility were confirmed in July this year, and completion is expected by the end of 2024, contributing to South Yorkshire’s prominence in the aerospace manufacturing sector.

This collaboration is expected to create around 50 jobs initially, with the possibility of generating 3,000 jobs by the mid-2030s and contributing approximately £2 billion annually to the UK economy in exports.

The building is jointly funded by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, Sheffield City Council, the University of Sheffield and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. 

It will house a raft of state-of-the-art equipment secured through a £29.5m grant from the UK Government’s Aerospace Technology Institute Programme.

The Mayor of South Yorkshire, Oliver Coppard, emphasised Boeing’s confidence in the region’s future, while Tom Hunt, leader of Sheffield City Council, hailed COMPASS as a significant step toward making the global aviation industry more sustainable and positioning Sheffield as a hub for research and development excellence.