One of the UK’s high-value manufacturing Catapults is to open a state-of-the-art research and innovation centre in Derby bringing the latest advanced manufacturing technologies not seen before in the city.

HVM Catapults are a network of seven partnerships between academia and industry tasked with transforming the UK’s productivity performance and to support high-value manufacturing in regions across the country.

This centre is being led by Rotherham-based Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC). It will base a small operation at Connect Derby’s iHub in Infinity Park Derby (IPD) while a larger 4,500m2 facility is being planned.

The government-funded NAMRC will be investing £3.5m and creating 18 new jobs in the next two years and will be adding another notch to Derby’s global reputation as the UK’s Number 1 city for innovation. Recognised to be at the heart of the country’s aerospace, rail and automotive sectors, Derby will now be adding nuclear research to its portfolio.

Subject to Cabinet approval on 12th September, Derby City Council will be investing £331,000 over two years in the venue. The money is to come from existing funds in the Regeneration Capital Programme.

Of that amount, £160,000 is to carry out essential renovations to two workshops at the iHub to accommodate the not-for-profit operation while rent and service charge are being subsidised by £171,000 over the two years.

This project has evolved from a Memorandum of Understanding signed in April by the council, NAMRC and the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (D2N2 LEP) to collaborate within the region. The agreement outlined the commitment to work together to identify funding to create a new 4,500 m2 facility and to provide accommodation at the iHub in the meantime to establish new pilot technology demonstrator projects while the new facility is being developed. The regional centre will also collaborate with the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University and the University of Derby.

Leader of Derby City Council Chris Poulter said:

This is a game changer for Derby with the introduction of national Catapult activities which put the city on the map for cutting edge nuclear research. This is just the first phase and we look forward to solidifying our relationship and working with them on the next phase.

Chief Executive of NAMRC Andrew Storer said:

We are really looking forward to getting underway and are eager to build on both existing and new relationships within the region for collaborative working.  Particularly we aim to support manufacturing industry and the wealth of SME’s in this region to capitalise on the latest advanced technologies.

Chair of D2N2 Elizabeth Fagan said:

Derbyshire and the wider D2N2 LEP area has a history of and reputation for manufacturing excellence, but we’re always looking to the future. We’re investing heavily in Infinity Park Derby, as part of our Nottingham & Derby Enterprise Zone, to make it an attractive place for innovative companies to do business. This advanced manufacturing research facility onsite will add even more to what is on offer for businesses in the D2N2 area, enabling small and medium-sized enterprises to access leading technological expertise.