Planning approved for new food engineering centre

Planning permission has been granted for Sheffield Hallam University’s new home for the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering.

The new Centre will sit alongside Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, and will become the latest University facility on the site, following in the footsteps of the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC).

Plans for the research-led centre include laboratories, workshops and teaching spaces with work focusing on engineering processes of food production and addressing an industry recognised shortage of food engineering expertise.

The application has now been approved by Sheffield City Council and will play a strategic role in developing advanced engineering capability for the food and drink industry, providing a major competitive advantage to the sector.

Work is expected to begin on site in September 2018 with the centre due to open in June 2019.

The Centre is designed to tackle food industry challenges such as productivity, producing more for less, minimising waste and reducing costs. It will support the food and drink industry by developing new and enhanced facilities, processes and equipment and creating a knowledgeable workforce with experience of leading engineering systems and processes.

The centre, and the associated Master’s degree, MEng Food Engineering, are supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and have been developed in partnership with the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink, along with funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

Dr Martin Howarth, director of the centre, said: “The centre will support the food and drink industry to develop and implement new and enhanced facilities, processes and equipment, to keep the UK at the forefront of capability and efficiency in a very competitive sector.

“It will also enhance the development of a highly educated and knowledgeable workforce, through staff development and supporting employees with experience of leading engineering systems and processes.

“This project builds on our existing strong track record of providing excellent research and knowledge transfer, and of working in partnership with industry to develop education programmes that are designed to support companies by creating highly skilled and employable graduates, ready for the world of work.”

Rachel Clark, director of trade and investment at Sheffield City Region, said: “I’m so glad that we’ve reached this crucial step in bringing the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering to our region.

“Sheffield City Region is famed worldwide for its excellence in innovation and strong heritage in manufacturing and engineering. In collaboration with our city region’s two universities, our businesses are driving forward cutting-edge technology and building on that reputation, ensuring that we’re increasingly becoming a place where companies want to invest, grow and thrive.

“This centre will also be a major piece in the creation of the Health Innovation Campus, a public-private partnership which will lead the way in research and drive wider growth and development across our forward-thinking city region.”

For press information: Tim Ward in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 5220 or email


Speaking from Kenya during a charity visit, Hugh Facey, innovator, entrepreneur and chairman of Sheffield’s Gripple Ltd, told his staff that his OBE was down to their hard work and commitment over the years.

Hugh invented and launched the iconic Gripple wire joiner in 1989 and built a world-beating employee-owned company, which last year turned over £67m.

Gripple has four bases in Sheffield and operations in Chicago, Strasbourg and New Delhi. Multi award-winning Gripple, including five Queen’s Awards, now has 4000 customers, 650 employees and sold 600m wire joiners globally providing patented time-saving solutions within the construction, agriculture and viticulture markets.

Eighty-five per cent of production is exported to 80 countries with 25% of annual turnover from products less than five years old.

Hugh is also chairman of Sheffield’s reusable packaging innovator, Loadhog which last year achieved a record £9.6m turnover, representing 26.6% growth.

Hugh said on a video: “This is incredible news and a great honour. I have been thinking about what OBE means as well as officially. I concluded that I received it because of you – Our Brilliant Employees – to thank you for what you do day in day out to create wonderful companies. Pride may be a sin but you make me proud of what you do and what you will continue to do.”

For further press information please contact Margaret Laver at Proactive PR on 07723 010 752 or

Industrial Strategy: call for views government response

Over 50 responses were received from IP attorneys, trade bodies, industry associations and a range of industry sectors. As a result the IPO has committed to:

  • work with the British Business Bank and Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT) to address barriers to growth for IP rich firms. This should help them use their IP to access growth funding
  • pilot an ‘Innovation Enabler Fund” for Local Enterprise Partnerships and Universities of the West Midlands. This will give financial and advisory support to help local Small, Medium Enterprises (SMEs) put in place IPstrategies
  • review and update the IP Finance Toolkit
  • develop a Business to Business toolkit to help business cooperation

Minister for Intellectual Property, Sam Gyimah said:

We are a nation of great ideas, which for many companies and innovators are their most valuable asset. Today’s response shows our intellectual property community that we are listening, and through our modern industrial strategy are determined to back our ambitious creators with a world-class IP regime.

You can read the full response on the Industrial Strategy call for views.

Source:, 21st May 2018


The chief executive of Siemens UK has called on manufacturers in the Northern Powerhouse to ‘lead the next industrial revolution’.

Juergen Maier, chief executive of Siemens UK and author of the Made Smarter Review, urged industry across the North to commit to embedding technology, information and data into everything they do.

Speaking to an invited audience of northern industrialists and young engineers at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) today (10 May 2018), he said review said a new ‘digital Industrial Revolution’ could support the creation of 175,000 new jobs over ten years; mainly skilled roles in engineering, software and design.

“Leading the next industrial revolution cannot be done from Whitehall; it cannot be done from London. It can only be done in the North,” Maier said.

“This city of Sheffield was world-renowned for high-quality steel production, but fell into decline as the industry collapsed and cheaper alternatives across the world became available. We should all be determined that we do not let this happen again.

“This is our chance to reverse that decline and create the high-skilled jobs for generations to come. Through embracing technology we can lead the world once again – exporting new Northern industries all over the globe.”

“Many of our smaller firms have led the way. Now we want thousands more to come on board. There is nothing to fear but plenty to gain.”

His sentiments were echoed by Professor Sir Keith Burnett, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Sheffield: “As the cradle of the first industrial revolution, the north of England sent new products to the world. Now we need the infrastructure, research, innovation and skills which will enable us to lead in the era of Industry 4.0.

“This means new approaches to bringing together world-class research and teaching with global companies and their supply chains, creating new products and reshoring production. This is an area where the University of Sheffield is leading the way, working with Boeing, McLaren, Siemens and Rolls-Royce to make the Northern Powerhouse a reality.”


Engineering giant Sheffield Forgemasters International has reported its largest order book since 2012.

The company has reported a 2018 order book value of £118m, its highest since £117m in 2012.

Forgemasters, which has been pursuing diverse global contracts since the 2015 oil and gas market crash erased 30 per cent of its workload, has credited UK and US defence orders, materials processing, and research and development projects orders as helping to support the order book.

It has also invested heavily in technology and skills to enable it to operate in a competitive worldwide market for large scale engineered components which have a high safety-critical requirement.

Dr Graham Honeyman CBE, chief executive at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: “We are very pleased to report that our order book has breached the 100 million pound mark for the first time in five years.

“This announcement follows a prolonged period of market austerity across all of our market sectors after the global recession started to take effect, which was further compounded by the collapse of oil and gas markets which closed off a key revenue stream almost overnight.

“The company still has a lot of work to do to secure new contracts and we have no intention of resting on these placed orders – we need to keep pushing forward and securing work in new markets.”

Source: Steve Farrell, Insider Media, 23rd April 2018

Hard Brexit could have adverse impact on foreign investment in UK

A hard Brexit, favoured by some members of the current government, could have a significant adverse impact on foreign direct investment (FDI) in the UK, according to new research by Sheffield Hallam University.

Academics in the University’s Business School assessed the different possible outcomes of the Brexit negotiations and the potential impact they would have on FDI in the UK.
The research has been published following a week of key speeches by the Prime Minister and Chancellor.

They looked at four potential scenarios including current models used in Switzerland; the Norwegian model within the European Economic Area (EEA); a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), or the fall-back option of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which would be the loosest relationship with the EU.

The research concluded that a hard Brexit, the WTO outcome, could lead to 15-20% less FDI into the UK over a 15-year time frame. The negative impact of a softer Brexit, with the EEA outcome, would be in the range of 5-10%, while with a Swiss style or FTA outcome, the negative impact would be in the range of 10-15%.

They also looked at impacts on specific sectors, including the car, technology and financial industries.

The research envisages significant impacts in the car industry, depending on the Brexit outcome, given the integrated supply chains in the sector.  Under an FTA outcome, there could also be potential challenges for the UK in terms of different product standards.

A recent study, referenced in the research, asserted there would also be a negative impact on the financial services industry, with gross value added (GVA) reduced by 5.7% by 2020 under a FTA Brexit outcome, and 9.5% under a WTO outcome.

The research found that a positive impact of Brexit could be some geographical rebalancing of the UK economy, away from London and the south east towards areas such as the Midlands and the North. This is because foreign investments in these latter regions tend to be in order to increase sales in the UK, with such investments potentially less adversely affected by Brexit.

Dr Jeremy Head, lead researcher and principal lecturer in International Business at Sheffield Hallam, said: “The Brexit vote has led to a complex and uncertain situation regarding the future of inward FDI into the UK.

“There are a range of possible outcomes of the negotiations between the UK Government and the EU, which would all have significantly different impacts on FDI in different industries and regions.

“Harder forms of Brexit will have large negative impacts on inward FDI, but even softer forms will have significant impacts in some sectors and some regions.”

 The research is an Article in press in Global Business and Economics Review.

Notes to Editor

 A copy of the research paper is available from the press office on

Source: Sheffield Hallam University, March 2018




Wednesday, 18th April 2018, Magna Science Adventure Centre, Magna Way, Templeborough, S60 1FD

Event Timings
7:45 am Registration, breakfast sandwiches & refreshments
8:15 am Presentations and Panel Discussion
9:15 am Networking & Preview of Exhibition

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Ken Cooke – Master Cutler, The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire
John Bohan – Senior Director, Engineering & Manufacturing, Elevation Recruitment Group

Keynote Speaker:
David Richards CBE – Chairman of Prodrive and Chairman of the UK Motor Sports Association (MSA). Former Chairman of Aston Martin, Benetton and BAR Formula One Teams.

The State of Manufacturing and Future Skills Needs Panel Discussion
Host – Will Stirling – Editor The Manufacturing Review & Director Stirling Media.
David Richards CBE
Julie Kenny CBE DL – Successful entrepreneur, Board Member of the Sheffield City Region LEP, Commissioner to Rotherham Council and Chair, Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust.
Rachel Abbot – Managing Director Cobra Sport Performance Exhaust Systems and Chair Freemans Committee of the Cutlers Company.

Closing Remarks
Richard Caborn – President, work-wise Foundation

Followed By
Get up to Speed Exhibition Preview

Booking Essential: Please book your place here

Sheffield City Region forging links with India

Access India Programme

India is one of the priority target markets for Sheffield City Region, and new trade relationships are already actively being forged.

The Sheffield City Region recently organised an Access to India event in March in conjunction with the High Commission for India in London, the UK India Business Council and the ERDF Exporting for Growth Programme.

The High Commission of India in London’s flagship Access India Programme is the first of its kind for supporting UK businesses access the Make in India initiative of the Government of India, seeking to identify high-potential UK SME companies and assist them in establishing themselves in India.

For these companies, the programme will provide a detailed programme of activity, mentoring, networking opportunities and market entry support services, including

  • Strategy advisory
  • Operational market entry support
  • Tax & legal support
  • Financial services
  • Project financing
  • M&A, location services
  • Technology collaboration
  • Facilitation of approvals from central and state agencies will be provided.

For more information, visit the Access India Programme website here

Shorts partner EXACT cloud accounting

Shorts are delighted to announce our partnership with software company Exact to offer its cloud-based accounting and industry software combined with customer relationship management (CRM) solution.

Who are Exact?

Exact are Europe’s number one cloud business software for SMEs. Providing comprehensive, integrated and perhaps most importantly scalable solutions to target the requirements of companies in the manufacturing and wholesale distribution sectors without the need for multiple apps / solutions.

Why choose Exact?

In recent years, the cloud accounting software market has become more saturated, with most providers targeting small businesses looking for entry level accounting solutions. While Exact can compete in this space, what makes it different is the scalability and the industry specific focus of the software. Exact offers cloud software solutions for larger businesses particularly those working within manufacturing and wholesale. Some of the key advantages of the software are:

  • Integration between manufacturing and accounting.
  • Provides order and real time inventory management.
  • Built in CRM system.
  • Gives a complete 360-degree view of your business.
  • Unprecedented control over your manufacturing.

Some of the more specific benefits to manufacturers and wholesalers include:

  • Create shop orders direct from quotations, orders and stock positions.
  • Track time and material consumption along with subcontracted work.
  • Serial and batch numbers to improve traceability.
  • Multi-warehouse and storage locations.
  • Multi-level BOMs.
  • Mobile app improves efficiency on the shop floor.

Here at Shorts we have long been advocates of cloud accounting solutions and the addition of Exact to our portfolio enhances our client offering especially for those larger manufacturing and wholesale companies that require scalable industry specific solutions. This collaboration along with being a fully certified Exact partner also means we can provide clients with a more personalised end to end service from the initial scoping stage to the final implementation.

For more information and a FREE Consultation please click here


UK car manufacturing stable in January, as exports growth offsets decline in domestic demand


  • UK car manufacturing stable in January, declining -0.05%, with just 72 fewer units produced year on year.
  • Exports growth drives overall output, with record 119,252 British-built cars shipped overseas – up 1.5%.1
  • Production for UK buyers declines for sixth consecutive month, down -6.0% to 28,229.UK car manufacturing output held steady in January, with just 72 fewer vehicles produced than in the same month last year, according to figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Output in the month fell by a negligible -0.05% year on year, as 147,481 cars rolled off production lines – effectively maintaining the nine year high set in January 2017.

    Exports drove overall volumes, with output for overseas customers rising by 1.5% to a record 119,252 units. This was in line with continued recovery across EU markets and followed the launch of several key global models throughout 2017.

    The growth offset a decline in production for the UK market, which fell for the sixth consecutive month, by -6.0% to 28,229, reflecting falling UK business and consumer confidence and confusion over government policies on diesel taxation and air quality plans

For full article and graphs:  SMMT, 28th February 2018