Rolls-Royce to continue BREXIT Contingency Plans

Rolls-Royce has confirmed it is to continue its Brexit contingency plans following the Prime Minister’s decision to delay the vote on her deal in Parliament. The manufacturing giant also revealed its profits and cash flow for 2018 is expected to be in the upper half of its guidance range.

The listed company, which is headquartered in Derby, added that it expects to complete about 500 large engines in total this year, lower than its projection in March of about 550 units.

Rolls-Royce said the reduction reflects supply chain “challenges that are affecting the whole civil engine sector and also early stage production ramp-up challenges” on its new Trent 7000 engine.

However, the business added that it is “confident” that Trent 7000 production and delivery volumes will “increase significantly” in 2019.

In its power systems division, the company has reported “strong growth” in the second half of 2018 while trading progress in defence remained in line with its full-year guidance, with revenues expected to remain stable.

A statement to the London Stock Exchange said: “Rolls-Royce notes the decision by the UK government to delay the vote on the proposed withdrawal agreement and political declaration.

“We will continue to implement our contingency plans until we are certain that a deal and transition period has been agreed.

“Specifically, we are working with EASA to transfer design approval for large aero engines to Germany, where we already carry out this process for business jets.

“This is a precautionary and reversible technical action which we do not anticipate will lead to the transfer of any jobs.

“We have begun to build inventory as a contingency measure, in line with the timetable that we gave in the summer.

“We have been liaising with all our suppliers and have reviewed our logistics options and have the required capacity available.

“At this point we have contingency plans in place and will update the market when we have clearer visibility.”

Source: Jon Robinson, Insider Media, 12 December 2018

Building work progresses at Hallam’s Health Innovation Park

The structural steelworks of Sheffield Hallam University’s two new research centres are now in place.

Building work led by BAM Construction Ltd is progressing quickly on the University’s National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering (NCEFE) and Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC), which will be based at Sheffield Hallam’s Health Innovation Park.

Situated at the heart of the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, the Health Innovation Park will bring together research and innovation alongside education, health, leisure and business. Providing opportunities for organisations that are active in health innovation to co-locate on the Health Innovation Park, the site will become a model of urban development that will drive economic growth, health improvements and community wellbeing.

Sheffield Hallam’s NCEFE, which is set to open next year, will focus on the application of engineering to improve food processing and address an industry-recognised shortage of food engineering expertise.

Designed to tackle food industry challenges such as productivity, health, minimising waste and reducing energy use, the NCEFE will support the food and drink industry through collaborative research and development projects and by developing new and enhanced facilities, processes and equipment and creating a knowledgeable workforce with experience of leading engineering systems and processes.

It will also include pilot-scale production facilities, laboratories, workshops and teaching spaces 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.

The Centre, and the associated Food Engineering degree programme, has 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 (ERDF) and the Office for Students (formerly HEFCE).

Professor Roger Eccleston, Pro Vice-Chancellor for research at Sheffield Hallam, said: “The Health Innovation Park will be a pioneering place that will translate excellent research into practical innovations to tackle the world’s health challenges and significantly improve global health and wellbeing, UK productivity and export potential.

“The NCEFE will support the food and drink industry in helping to keep the UK at the forefront of capability and efficiency in a very competitive sector.

“This project builds on our existing strong track record of attracting investment and providing excellent research and knowledge transfer, working in partnership with industry to develop education programmes that are designed to support organisations in narrowing the skills gap within the region and beyond.”

Set to become the most advanced research centre in the world for developing innovations that will improve population health and physical activity levels, the AWRC will form the centrepiece of the Health Innovation Park and will look to increase people’s mobility through lifestyle change and technological innovation to reduce the risk and consequences of chronic diseases. 

The key facility, which is situated opposite the NCEFE and is set to open later next year, has been supported by the Department of Health and Social Care, who have committed £14million of funding to the project.

The new Centre will feature indoor and outdoor facilities for 70 researchers to carry out world-leading research on health and physical activity in collaboration with the general public and private sector, with a focus on taking services and products from concept to market.

In 2015, Canon Medical Systems (formerly Toshiba Medical) and Westfield Health were announced as the first major, private sector partners of the AWRC and will provide cutting edge equipment and technology to assist with research. parkrun became the AWRC’s third major partner in 2016 and will work together with their two million registered runners to improve their health and wellbeing. 

Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity and the Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Wosskow Brown Foundation and the Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust have also become partners.

Its close links with the National Centre of Sport and Exercise Medicine will enable researchers to work with the population of Sheffield and use local communities to explore and test the potential of new innovations and products.

Professor Alison Metcalfe, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University’s Faculty of Health and Wellbeing said: “Mobility is fundamental to a person’s physical and mental health. Finding new and diverse interventions to increase people’s mobility and engagement with physical activity and exercise across their lifespan can transform their health significantly.

“Bringing together public and private sector organisations is vitally important to developing products and services when it comes to growing our economy and UK productivity and our own practitioners, scientists, engineers and designers here at Sheffield Hallam regularly collaborate to address global health concerns.”

Richard Caborn, project lead for Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, said “Seeing the steelwork on the AWRC rise six storeys above Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park is another key milestone in the redevelopment of Attercliffe.

“We are bringing wealth creation and job opportunities to the region, providing tangible evidence of how Sheffield is delivering the Olympic legacy of economic regeneration.”

For press information: Sarah Ducein the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 4025 or email

Marianne Lindsay joins Shorts’ Radius team

Shorts are delighted to announce the appointment of Research and Development tax reliefs expert, Marianne Lindsay.  Marianne joins Shorts Radius team as a senior manager, helping businesses claim their full entitlement to Government backed tax reliefs for innovation.  She has an Animal Science degree and a background in agricultural and pharmaceutical sales and joins Radius after several years working at a specialist R&D tax relief consultancy using her scientific knowledge to help innovative companies claim R&D tax reliefs.

Scott Burkinshaw, Tax Partner and head of Radius commented “Our Radius team continues to grow rapidly as we help more and more local companies claim their entitlement to valuable tax reliefs for innovation such as R&D tax reliefs.  We have generated savings of over £10m for our clients in recent years and now partner with local Chambers of Commerce and other organisations to help spread awareness.”

“Marianne is another excellent specialist recruit to strengthen our existing team and gives us much needed additional capacity and expertise to service our clients and continue to grow.  We now have one of the most highly qualified R&D teams in the North.”

Marianne added “After a varied career in Agricultural and Pharmaceutical sales, followed by a number of years helping innovative companies claim R&D tax reliefs, I am really excited to be joining such a professional and forward-thinking Accountancy practice as Shorts. Being a part of Radius will give me the opportunity to add my scientific knowledge to an already highly skilled team and help them to continue promoting the R&D tax relief scheme to aid all those innovative SME’s in and around the area.”

Marianne can be contacted by or calling 01246 559955.



Mechanical engineering specialist MetLase has won a contract with aerospace giant Boeing for work at its new Sheffield facility.

The company, a joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Unipart, has been announced as the tooling and fixture partner for the facility. The deal is initially set to increase the workforce by 15 per cent.

MetLase, which employs 25 people at its 12,500 sq ft state-of the-art facility at the AMP Technology Centre, has begun supplying the first fixtures as part of a three-year contract.

The contract with Boeing is the latest in a line of new business wins that include strategic partnerships with blue chip companies in sectors such as automotive, aerospace and energy.

Steve Dunn, managing director at MetLase, said: “The long-term agreement with Boeing marks a new chapter for our business, as it will enable us to become an integral part of its future plans to develop intelligent and connected fixturing and tooling solutions.

“Our unique approach and technology will see us produce optimised fixtures that are lighter than traditional alternatives, can be produced in weeks as opposed to months and, importantly, through our design iteration service, can be continually improved to deliver the best possible performance.”

“This contract is an ideal way to celebrate our third birthday and is also excellent news for the region, with two other local companies – Maher Ltd and Nikken – also being awarded contracts.”

Pictured (L-R): Sam Simpson (principal engineer at MetLase), Steve Dunn (managing director at MetLase), James Needham (senior operations manager at Boeing Sheffield) and Richard Gould (sales manager at MetLase)

Source: Stephen Farrell, Insider Media, 1 October 2018

Making Tax Digital – what is it ?

Making Tax Digital (MTD) is an initiative designed by HMRC to make sure the UK tax system is effective, efficient and easier for taxpayers. 

All UK businesses that are VAT registered and above the £85,000 VAT threshold will be required to keep their records digitally and submit VAT returns to HMRC using MTD-compatible software.  This means that many businesses will need to decide about their accounting software soon to avoid facing the complication of changing part way through their accounting year. 

When does it start? MTD for VAT is due to commence for VAT periods starting on or after 1 April 2019. So, all businesses will need to comply with the new process from this date onwards.  

Am I compliant? If MTD applies to you, then you will need to ensure that your accounting software is compliant.  HMRC have released a list of compliant software at 

Next steps? Shorts offer a free MTD Ready Check to help you understand how it affects your business. If you would like an MTD Ready Check contact us by email on or by phone on 0114 2671617. 

Source: Tim Baum-Dixon, SHORTS

Efficient and sustainable agriculture: apply for funding

Up to £20 million available to increase productivity and sustainability in crop and ruminant agriculture systems through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

There is up to £20 million in this competition as part of the transforming food production challenge.

UK organisations can apply for a share of up to £20 million for projects to transform how the agrifood sector works with crop and animal-based agricultural systems.

The funding is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’s transforming food production challenge. It is provided by UK Research and Innovation and delivered through Innovate UK.

Why agriculture systems need to change

Due to the continued growth in global population, the UK, alongside many other countries, needs to produce more food. However, agricultural production issues such as costs and environmental factors mean we must do so in ways that are significantly more efficient, resilient and sustainable.

To support businesses to create disruptive technologies and embed precision approaches that meet these goals, the government is offering grants through its Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

This competition opens on 20 August 2018, and the deadline for applications is midday on 24 October 2018

Source: See further detailed information HERE

Polypipe ‘performs well despite mixed conditions’

The chief executive of Polypipe has said the Doncaster-based plastic pipes manufacturer “performed well” in the first half of 2018, despite “mixed market conditions and adverse weather “.

The listed company reported revenue of £210.2m in the six months ended 30 June 2018, up from a restated £210m in the same period of 2017.

However, profit before tax dipped to £30.1m from £30.5m the year before.

During the period, the group completed the sale of its French operations, Polypipe France Holding, to Ryb for €16.5m.

Polypipe’s UK Residential Systems business reported organic growth of 5.9 per cent, but revenue from its Commercial and Infrastructure Systems division was down 6.6 per cent due to delays in road and other commercial projects.

Martin Payne, chief executive of Polypipe, said: “Against a backdrop of mixed market conditions and adverse weather the group has performed well in the first half.

“With the group’s balanced business model, underpinned by the long-term growth drivers of legacy material substitution and continuing legislative tailwinds in water management and climate change, I am confident the group will make good progress in the second half of the year.”

Source: Stephen Farrell, Insider Media, 14th August 2018

Year of “Significant Development” for ITM Power

Sheffield-headquartered energy storage and clean fuel company ITM Power has reported a year of “significant development” in its latest financial results, with a focus on expanding staff numbers and its facilities.

The listed company has reported total revenue and grant funding of £14.1m for the year to 30 April 2018, up 53 per cent from £9.2m in 2017.

However, pre-tax losses widened to £6.5m from £3.6m the year before.

During the year, ITM raised £29.4m through a placing and open offer. It also secured funding to support the expansion of hydrogen refuelling station infrastructure in the UK.

The company agreed head of terms on new factory premises, with space planning now underway, and invested in the expansion of its manufacturing and after sales support teams.

ITM has a total pipeline of more than £30m, with £24.1m under contract and a further £6.5m in the final stages of negotiation.

Following the year end, it signed a strategic partnership agreement with Sumitomo Corporation for product sales in Japan and other territories.

Graham Cooley, chief executive of ITM Power, said: “This financial year has been a period of significant development for ITM Power. With revenue increasing by 53 per cent, the company has been focussed on the expansion of staff and the planning of the new, larger production facilities. We’ve also been learning how to maximise a growing portfolio of revenue generating assets in the shape of the first real hydrogen refuelling network in the UK.

“Finally, Power-to-Gas is now demonstrating real traction around the world and we remain very well placed to benefit from this development with our long-running reference plant in Germany.”

Source: Stephen Farrell, Insider Media, 13th August 2018

£126m Funding for Yorkshire Catapult Centres

Two ‘catapult centres’ in South Yorkshire are set to benefit from an additional £126m in government funding to help develop new technology.

The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Rotherham and Sheffield will receive £82m while £45m will go to the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Rotherham.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced £780m of additional funding for ‘catapult centres’ across the UK, which are designed to fuel innovation across the country as part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy.

The centres have so far helped create hundreds of new products, services and inventions, including a portable pollution sensor that parents can attach to a child’s buggy, cellular therapies to fight cancer and improve recovery of stroke victims, LED treatment for blindness, and more-efficient wings for aeroplanes.

Hammond said: “It is by backing innovative British companies to grow and create jobs that we will continue this progress and build an economy fit for the future. Today’s £780m investment will support innovators across the country to create the technologies of the future, and the better, highly-paid jobs we urgently need.”

Source: Stephen Farrell, Insider Media, 13th August 2018

The Far East is not too far for Gripple

Already with established bases in the USA, France, India, Poland and Canada, the Sheffield-based manufacturer of iconic wire fasteners, Gripple has now appointed a Japanese managing director to lead Gripple’s expansion within the Japanese construction market.

Takahiro Makino will complete the process of creating Gripple Japan by building on the opportunities which arise from the country hosting the Rugby World Cup and the Olympic Games in coming years.

Later this year 46-year-old Taka will be joined by Tomohiro Seki, who was appointed by Gripple as a sales graduate in 2017 since when he has had nine months’ training with the company in the UK. They will be charged with building thriving business in Japan by establishing Gripple Japan in the world’s third largest economy.

Taka joins the employee-owned company after spending ten years with one of the Japan’s largest suppliers to construction industry. Taka’s work in Japan began after extensive training in Sheffield.

Eric Laroche, Gripple’s director of international markets, said: “Doing business in Japan is very different from our traditional methods. It was only a question of time before we invested directly in the country to further our developments globally. Now is the time!

“Taka has an excellent professional track record and his personality, experience, drive and enthusiasm will be a major asset for Gripple. The board and I are convinced that Gripple Japan will become a significant part of the company’s overseas operations. We welcome him to the family!”

Taka commented: “I did not make my decision to join Gripple until I had met some of its people and had a feel of its culture. When I visited The Old West Gun Works I was welcomed by many members of the Gripple family who were supportive and approachable – my decision was made. I feel there is huge potential for Gripple in my country which is extremely exciting for me and for the company.”