Communities in Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley are set to benefit from thousands of new jobs and £1.2 billion of investment as part of the UK’s first Advanced Manufacturing Investment Zone. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has today (14 July) hailed the first Advanced Manufacturing Investment Zone in South Yorkshire for bringing opportunity into areas which have traditionally underperformed economically.

Growing the economy, and creating opportunities across the UK, is a priority for the Prime Minister. Twelve Investment Zones will be established across the UK based around a university and clusters of high growth industries like Advanced Manufacturing, life sciences or green industries, will deliver benefits directly to local communities. 

Building on the area’s strengths, the South Yorkshire Investment Zone is focused on Advanced Manufacturing and includes the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. It’s expected that the Investment Zone will help leverage more than £1.2bn of private funding and help support more than 8,000 jobs by 2030.

The Chancellor welcomed the first of those investments as he met executives from Boeing at the AMRC's Factory 2050, a manufacturing technologies research and development facility. People from Sheffield Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley will see blockers to growth in their area, such as challenges attracting finance and investment, supporting business growth, and clear pathways to higher skilled jobs reduced.

They will also benefit from further government funding through the Investment Zone worth up to £80 million. This could be through potential support for specialist training programmes tailored to industry and support for local businesses in the sector’s supply chains, helping drive more business activity and productivity.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt: “Our first Investment Zone is a shining example of how we will drive growth across the country.

“It’s already secured more than £80 million of private investment, including backing from Boeing, and will help support more than 8,000 jobs by 2030.” Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove said: “Today’s announcement is a significant moment for South Yorkshire as it becomes the home of England’s first advanced manufacturing Investment Zone.

“This will help level up the region, creating jobs and boosting economic growth. We want to build on South Yorkshire’s proud heritage so that it can make an even greater contribution to the UK economy. This is what levelling up is all about, promoting growth and providing opportunities so people can thrive in the communities they are from.”

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said: “Boeing and its partners’ investment in the new Investment Zone is a major vote of confidence in our world-leading aerospace sector and adds to the nearly £400 million of government-backed funding for aerospace projects we've announced in 2023 alone.

“Our forthcoming plan for Advanced Manufacturing will build on this success and help ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of the industries of the future, creating high-quality jobs and economic growth right across the country.” Today’s announcement of an investment of more than £80 million for a portfolio of Research & Development projects, backed by Boeing, will look at the future of aerospace. Boeing will work with industry partners, Spirit AeroSystems and Loop Technology at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Factory 2050 in Sheffield Business Park. 

The project, co-funded by industry and government, including through the Aerospace Technology Institute programme, and with support from the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and the University of Sheffield, puts the UK at the cutting edge of aviation research, development and manufacturing as demand for commercial aircraft is forecasted to be greater than 40,000 over the next 20 years. Boeing has a long history in South Yorkshire - its programme can be traced back to the company co-founding the AMRC with the University of Sheffield around 22 years ago. Since then, the AMRC has spawned the advanced manufacturing campus in the former brown-field site including Boeing’s first European factory.

Government will continue to work with South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and other local partners to co-develop the plans for their Advanced Manufacturing Investment Zone, including agreeing priority development sites and specific interventions to drive cluster growth, over the summer ahead of final confirmation of plans.  

At Spring Budget, the Chancellor announced eight places in England as eligible to host an Investment Zone. Each was invited to identify an Investment Zone that offered an imaginative partnership between local government and a university or research institute in a way that catalyses emerging innovation clusters.

Today’s news follows a joint announcement by the UK and Scottish Governments that there will be two Investment Zones in Scotland, with Glasgow City Region and North East of Scotland offering the most potential to host these. Discussions will now begin with both regions to develop detailed proposals.

Each Investment Zone will be backed with £80 million of support for a range of interventions which could include skills, infrastructure and tax reliefs, depending on local circumstances. The zones will help drive growth in the government’s key growth sectors including advanced manufacturing, life sciences, green industries, digital and technology and creative industries.

The government is also working closely with the devolved administrations to establish how Investment Zones in Wales and Northern Ireland will be delivered.