Advanced manufacturing strengths showcased at national conference

Last week, the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) highlighted its strengths in advanced manufacturing at the national Advanced Engineering show at the NEC in Birmingham.

The annual event attracts over 1,000 delegates from the automotive and aerospace supply chain and experts in composite and performance metal engineering. The region exhibited in the new connected manufacturing area of the show.

This follows the recent announcement that The University of Leeds is investing £10m to develop the UK’s first dedicated centre for high speed rail technologies and system integration.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the LEP, said:

“Leeds City Region has the strongest economy outside the South East, with a GVA of £64.6bn to the national economy, 12 per cent of which is achieved by our manufacturing sector.

“Our companies are at the forefront of embracing the fourth industrial revolution. I’m delighted we hosted a seminar with Bradford-based Cimlogic about digital manufacturing and the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) which helps manufacturers increase productivity.”

“We look forward to progressing our discussions with national and international manufacturers about the support we can offer to help them to expand their business, including our modern manufacturing Enterprise Zones, our ready pipeline of talent and unique culture of collaboration, with nearly 40 research centres of excellence.”

There are 7,300 manufacturing and engineering businesses based in the region employing 144,000 people, representing the largest manufacturing base in the UK. The region’s nine universities produce 15,100 STEM graduates per year. The sector is supported by significant investment in facilities that are training the next generation of engineers including Kirklees College £5m New Process Engineering Centre, the new £11m University Technical College in Leeds that specialises in engineering. In addition, the LEP has also supported nearly 540 apprentices to begin their career in manufacturing.

The region has particular capabilities in the engineering of pumps, gears, valves and turbos.Brighouse-based Blackhall Engineeringannounced this year it had engineered the world’s largest water gate valve for the US state of Texas, weighing 100 tonnes and 40ft high with a lifespan of 100 years.