Rotherham, South Yorkshire, was once a focus for the industrial revolution, with rich and plentiful coal and iron ore deposits.
The area became famed for its mining and ironworks, but with these industries no longer as prominent, Rotherham is today becoming expert in new sectors.
Sitting proudly on the site of the former Orgreave colliery and coking works is the High Value Manufacturing Catapult’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), part of the University of Sheffield.
The AMRC is a powerful symbol for what is possible in areas scarred by lost industry and limited opportunity. Developed to support industry through world-class research into advanced machining, manufacturing and materials, it has spurred regeneration with the development of a 150-acre Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham, with up to 2,500 new jobs, transforming a once bleak landmark of industrial confrontation into a thriving centre of industrial collaboration and innovation.
Where the coking works once dominated the landscape, there are now around 100 thriving companies employing 2,000 highly skilled workers.
The research and innovation excellence of the AMRC and its sister Centre, the Nuclear AMRC, has been the key magnet for all of them including some of the world’s biggest manufacturers: Rolls-Royce setting up on the site in 2015, Boeing, and McLaren in 2018. In 2020 UK Automic Energy Authority was enticed to build a £22m nuclear fusion research facility next door.
The AMRC has not only transformed an area but also whole communities – where the Battle of Orgreave played out in 1984 now stands the AMRC Training Centre with its proud record of training more than 1,000 apprentices and putting millions into the homes of some of the region’s most disadvantaged families, changing communities for the better.