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The Steel City – how manufacturing excellence puts Sheffield on the map

The Steel City – how manufacturing excellence puts Sheffield on the map

Sheffield - The City Of Steel

Sheffield is a city with a population of around 550,000, located in the south of Yorkshire, best known for having a rich, industrial history that it is proud to continue into the 21st century.

Known affectionately as the Steel City, Sheffield single-handedly contributed to a massive boost in production and manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution, establishing itself as a major city in the UK and significantly boosting the local population. 

At the end of the 19th century, following the invention of the Bessemer process by English inventor and engineer Sir Henry Bessemer, manufacturing innovation in Sheffield experienced another great leap forwards that hugely increased local steel production, as it enabled it to be mass produced for the first time. In 1856 this process was introduced to the British Association for the Advancement of Science by Bessemer as the "The Manufacture of Iron Without Fuel." 

Built on this solid foundation of manufacturing excellence and scientific advancement, modern Sheffield now operates several elite research and development centres, attached to its University. Many of them award-winning, these centres bring expertise and innovation to projects with large commercial organisations and government run research. This includes work with aerospace giant Boeing and contributions towards research on the nuclear supply chain in the UK. These two programmes in particular are part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult. 

Headquartered in Solihull, the HVMC is a group of seven of the UK’s top research centres, with their sole focus on manufacturing and process development and research. Sheffield is home to two of these centres – the AMRC or Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Centre or Nuclear AMRC.

The High Value Manufacturing Catapult consortium is backed by the Technology Strategy Board. The Technology Strategy Board is a UK public body operating under the Department for business innovation and skills or BIS. It was set up in July 2007 in order to target UK technologies and areas with the largest opportunity to improve business, the economic situation and the whole of UK society.

Sheffield will continue to drive progress in the UK, with its world class manufacturing research programmes that look set to go from strength to strength, as they are also supported by the European Regional Development fund. This fund is part of the European Commission Regional Policy and is set to flow €351 billion of financial support into European projects between 2014 and 2020. The European Commission Regional Policy seeks to create a cohesive Europe by investing in economic growth, competitiveness, job creation, sustainable development and improved standard of living across its territories. 

Over the last 10 years, the Sheffield economy is experiencing a strong revival with the 2004 Barclays Bank Financial Planning study reporting that the Sheffield area of Hallam is the highest ranked place outside of London for overall wealth, with over 12% of its residents earning over £60,000 per annum. The "UK Cities Monitor 2008" described Sheffield as among the top ten "best cities to locate a business today" and more recently, the Sheffield City Region was classed as top UK Enterprise Zone for Modern Manufacturing and Technology by the Financial Times fDi magazine.


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