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What is in store for Manufacturers?

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At a macro-economic level there are numerous uncertainties that manufacturing businesses will be grappling with at this time.


For many who supply into the oil and gas sector, the recent fall in oil price will have had a significant impact on the projects that they undertake and consequently the profitability of their businesses.  In addition, the continuing weak European economy and unrest in the Ukraine/Russia all has an impact on the potential future growth of our global manufacturers located in the City Region.  Not to mention the political uncertainty that we could face given the impending election.

That said, there are many reasons to be cheerful.  During the last 12 months we have seen significant developments in the region with the announcement in July that Sheffield City Region (SCR) had been awarded a Growth Deal of £325m.  In January 2015, SCR has received a further top up Growth Deal of £30.7m.  The funds are to be used to support skills and training, business growth, transport and housing.  All of which are vital if we are to grow our businesses in the region.

The SCR strategic economic plan identifies advanced manufacturing as a key growth area.  We are already somewhat down the road on this with the fantastic facilities that we have on our doorstep in the form of The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.  This has attracted many world class manufacturing companies to the Advanced Manufacturing Park (including the recently opened Rolls Royce turbine blade factory).

What’s next?  There is much discussion around creating an Innovation District to encourage further growth in the sector which would build on what has already been established at the AMRC (with the next exciting phase being the opening of Factory 2050 – the Factory of the Future).  Locating like-minded individuals and companies in the same place with cutting edge technologies around them would be a great way to stimulate growth.

At BHP we act as advisors to many growing manufacturing businesses and are committed to SCR’s future prosperity and success.  These initiatives are great news for the region and we will continue to work with organisations to support the growth of the region.