UK remains at forefront of world aerospace as new investment and jobs are announced

£365m funding announced for new UK aerospace research and development projects and major partnership with Boeing to create 2,000 jobs in the UK.

The Prime Minister has announced a new strategic partnership between Boeing and the UK, as well as nearly £400m for new aerospace R&D projects, ensuring we remain a global aerospace industry leader.

Ahead of the Prime Minister opening this year’s Farnborough air show, Boeing has confirmed that the company will create 2,000 new jobs in the UK and increase their R&D spending.

Boeing and the government intend to work together to build a new £100m P-8A operational support and training base at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, creating more than 100 new jobs.

To ensure the UK’s continued position at the forefront of global aerospace, a further £365m worth of aerospace R&D projects have been approved. These are jointly funded by industry and government. These are part of the work of the Aerospace Growth Partnership which will publish a new strategy at Farnborough setting out plans to maintain the UK aerospace sector’s leading position. This includes a new supply chain competitiveness charter signed by 11 major companies across the aerospace sector.

Following last week’s NATO summit, the Prime Minister will also confirm the UK has signed a contract to purchase 9 new Boeing P8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft to protect the UK’s new aircraft carriers. This underlines the UK’s determination to deliver on its Strategic Defence and Security Review commitments and providing a clear sign of the UK delivering on its pledge to maintain defence spending at 2% of GDP.

The Prime Minister said:

Whatever uncertainties our country faces, I want the message to go out loud and clear: the UK will continue to lead the world in both civil and defence aerospace. We aren’t just open for investment: we are a place the global aerospace industry wants to do business – as Boeing’s long-term partnership with the UK proves.

It’s also important to put government investment where it counts. That’s why we are jointly funding the new R&D fund with the aerospace industry and why I’m pleased we have today signed the contract for 9 new P8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft for the Royal Air Force, underlining the UK’s commitment to spending on vital defence.

Notes to editors

Boeing/UK joint initiative

Boeing will increase overall bid opportunities offered to UK suppliers and work with the UK government to enhance UK suppliers’ competitiveness. The aim of the initiative is to create the opportunity for UK companies to double their supply work with Boeing and to win higher proportions of content on future Boeing aircraft.

Boeing has signed the Aerospace Growth Partnership Supply Chain Competitiveness charter.

Boeing will make the UK its European base for training, maintenance, repair and overhaul across its defence fixed-wing and rotary platforms.

Additionally, Boeing and the government intend to work together to build a new £100m P-8A operational support and training base at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, creating more than 100 new jobs.

Boeing will continue to grow its commercial aviation services business in the UK.

Boeing will make the UK a base for defence exports to Europe and the Middle East, increasing UK employment, investment and tax revenue.

Aerospace Growth Partnership

The Aerospace Growth Partnership, started in 2010, will publish a refreshed industrial strategy ‘Means of Ascent’ at Farnborough – demonstrating government and industry’s continued commitment to investment in UK aerospace.

A further £365m of new aerospace R&D projects have been approved to commence, jointly funded by HM Government and industry. This is part of a total £4billion joint R&D commitment over 13 years to 2026.

New supply chain competitiveness charter signed by 11 global aerospace players with a presence in the UK.

Source:, 11th July 2016

Government gives UK businesses £57m boost to bring ideas to market

A new funding boost of £57.5 million was announced for the UK’s energy and infrastructure, biomedical and quantum technology sectors by Business Secretary Sajid Javid at the first inter-ministerial group on business engagement.

Chaired by the Business Secretary, the meeting brought together ministers from across government to discuss issues and challenges facing businesses in all sectors, and how government could support them following the outcome of the EU referendum, including creating opportunities for investment and trade. It was agreed at the meeting that government needed to “speak with one voice” to engage and deal with “immediate investment risks and domestic policy issues”. Meeting every 2 weeks, ministers recognised they all need to work together to support businesses and “turbo-charge our export efforts” – with next week’s Farnborough Air Show presenting a real opportunity.

At the meeting Sajid Javid also announced the immediate creation of a new £57.5 million fund to help boost innovative businesses across a range of sectors. The best ideas will compete for funding to develop new sustainable energy and transport solutions, bring new healthcare advancements to market and drive forward commercial advances in quantum technology (used in electronic devices such as clocks and computers).

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:

Creating opportunities for businesses to thrive in the UK is essential for increasing productivity, creating jobs, and boosting our economy. That’s why government is working with businesses across all sectors to ensure they have the support they need to grow now and in the future.

Part of our success will be to help propel innovative UK business even further – not only do our world-leading innovators and research base attract foreign investment, their ideas go on to improve the lives of millions of people. Whether tackling climate change or cancer, this new funding will help get the best ideas onto the market quicker and shows our commitment to make the UK the best place in Europe to innovate, set up and grow a business.

The series of competitions will open over the next 2 weeks and be run by Innovate UK and its partner organisations. The competitions will include:

Source:, published 6 July 2016 

Special needs furniture manufacturer secures investment

A family business that makes furniture for disabled children and adults has secured a major investment from Finance Yorkshire.

Sheffield-based Jenx was founded in 1982 by product designer Clive Jenkins and his wife Catherine, a paediatric physiotherapist.

The company designs and manufactures innovative support products to help children with special postural needs to live happy and fulfilling lives. Their portfolio includes products for seating, standing, sleeping and therapy.

One of Jenx’s best known products is Monkey, a simple and adjustable wooden standing system for children of up to six years old.

Jenx has received a Business Loan of £180,000 from Finance Yorkshire, which will help to increase the manufacturing capacity for cutting wood and plastic sheets. The equipment will enable Jenx to make products faster and with greater accuracy.

To date, Finance Yorkshire has invested over £105 million in Yorkshire and Humber, enabling companies to increase their turnover by £377 million and attract a further £273 million from other private sector sources. Finance Yorkshire investment has helped those SMEs to create and safeguard more than 12,200 jobs in the region.

Clive Jenkins, Managing Director of Jenx, said: “Our products are designed and manufactured to provide the support that children need as they develop. We work closely with children, carers and therapists .Our products are used by children in many different environments including health, social services, education and at home.

“This investment means we can replace our old machines and improve efficiency, and comes at a time when we have a number of exciting new products in the pipeline.”

Jenx has a turnover of around £6m and employs 75 staff. It currently exports around 15 per cent of its products to countries including Australia, New Zealand and the US.

UK sales and distribution of Jenx products is carried out by a division of Jenx Limited called Jiraffe, run by daughter Holly Jenkins, which has grown strongly since its launch two years ago.

“We have been growing over the last couple of years but there are always new product areas for us to look at. While Jiraffe is focused on the domestic market, Jenx is now pushing forward with a more global view and growing our international trade,” said Clive.

Melanie Reynolds, of Finance Yorkshire, said: “Our investment will drive efficiencies in the manufacturing process and enable Jenx to take advantage of opportunities both in the UK and overseas. Jenx is a long-established family business that has developed an excellent reputation for providing innovative and well-made products that make a huge difference to the lives of their users.”

Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m to help a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development.

The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, UK Government and the European Investment Bank. Finance Yorkshire is also supported by the Regional Growth Fund.

For more information about Finance Yorkshire, please click here  or call 0300 030 6060.

Source: Finance Yorkshire Newsletter

Sheffield Hallam partners with BFI

Sheffield Hallam University has partnered with the BFI Film Academy to help develop the next generation of cinema programmers.

The BFI Audience Academy 2016, an intensive one-week residential course in cinema programming for 16-19 year-olds, was delivered by The Showroom Cinema in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University.

BFI Audience AcademyStudents from across the UK had the chance to meet industry experts from the likes of the Odeon, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Glasgow Film Festival and Sensoria, as well as film-makers themselves, to learn about topics such as festivals, programming, distribution, and both commercial and independent cinema.

At the end of week, the students were tasked with pitching their ideas for a film season to a panel of experts, including Sheffield Hallam University film lecturer, Martin Carter. The winner of the competition will see part of their film season included in The Showroom’s programme in December.

Martin Carter delivered a number of the workshops, while five undergraduates from the University worked as mentors on the course (Naomi Dickinson, Beth Knox, Emily Paul, Quintin Plane and Jake Thompson).

Martin said: “We have a very strong relationship with the BFI and that has extended to us being a delivery partner on this thought-provoking and practical course.

“The Audience Academy will hopefully now go on to inspire and kick-start a number of careers in the film industry – from the delegates who attended to our own undergraduates who mentored on the course.”

Meabh O’Donovan, Development Manager for The Showroom Cinema, said: “Our partnership with Sheffield Hallam is really important for this course. The mentors provide a valuable resource to the students, as well as being great advocates for the city.

“It’s also fantastic to have someone as experienced and knowledgeable as Martin involved as a sounding board for the students when they are working on the pitches for their film season ideas.”


For press information: Please contact Martin Webb in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2621 or email

Issued by Sheffield Hallam University, 29th July 2016

Billington to outstrip Expectations

Structural steel business Billington Holdings has said its full-year results will be significantly ahead of current market expectations.

In an update in advance of its interim results for the six months to 30 June, the £57m-turnover group, which also supplies construction safety systems, said its performance has continued to improve during the first half of 2016.

Billington added its order book has strengthened, providing good visibility beyond the end of the current financial year.

Good early progress has also been made at Shafton Steel following the acquisition of the site in December 2015.

As a result, Billington anticipates that results for the year to 31 December 2016 will be significantly ahead of current market forecasts.

Source: Laurence Kilgannon, Business Insider, 29th July 2016

Mechan Deemed Fit to Hit Nuclear Arena

The manufacturer has secured Fit 4 Nuclear status, demonstrating its operations meet the strict standards required to supply the industry.

Run by the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), the scheme helps members secure work from civil nuclear firms at home and overseas by confirming their suitability as potential suppliers.

Richard Carr, Mechan’s chief executive, said: “Currently, the majority of our business comes from the rail sector, but we believe there are opportunities to extend our reach into the nuclear supply chain. We have taken tentative steps already, providing a set of jacks for a nuclear flask lifting operation and our Fit 4 Nuclear success now demonstrates we have the skills, experience and drive to become a valued trading partner.”

To complete the Fit 4 Nuclear programme, Mechan’s operations were benchmarked against standards demanded by the industry’s top tiers, before business improvements were identified and implemented. To retain its membership, the firm will be required to submit bi-annual action plans and in return, it will receive continued support from the Nuclear AMRC.

Geoff Shaw, commercial manager at Nuvia, recipients of Mechan’s lifting jacks, added: “We procured four units for use on a nuclear licensed site, which were designed and built to our specification and delivered within the required timescale. They have successfully passed all commissioning requirements without any issues and will now be deployed on an installation project. Accordingly, we are pleased to see such a competent firm secure this important industry accreditation.”

Fit 4 Nuclear is open to companies with ten or more staff with a turnover in excess of £1.6 million and its members range from established suppliers to those taking initial steps into the sector. Scheme organisers, The Nuclear AMRC, is a collaboration of academic and industrial partners, owned by Sheffield University and based on the city’s Advanced Manufacturing Park.

For more information about Fit 4 Nuclear, visit find out more about Mechan’s accreditation and its range of heavy lifting products, telephone (0114) 257 0563, visit or follow the firm on Twitter, @mechanuk.

Source: Made in Sheffield, 27th July 2016


Geo Robson appoints new CEO

Sheffield-based technology company Robson has appointed a new chief executive.

Jeff Hudson has previously held senior leadership roles as European director at Clyde Bergemann Power Group and president of EMEA and global strategy for the NASDAQ-quoted CECO Environmental Corporation.

His appointment is the four senior hire at the firm of late, including Bill Speirs joining as chairman, Julian Bestwick as finance director and Abby Young as company secretary.

Robson is currently enjoyed healthy growth, with orders secured in the first six months of the year totalling £11m.

Hudson said: “I was attracted to join Robson as it has a very strong brand, great products and extensive client base.

Source: Matthew Ord, Insider Media, 13th July 2016

£4 million to encourage the commercial use of compound semiconductors.

Innovate UK is to invest up to £4 million in innovative projects that help to speed up the use of compound semiconductors. This is in areas such as power electronics, RF/microwave, photonics and sensors.

We are seeking proposals with large and scalable commercial potential. The aim of this competition is to ensure that UK businesses can respond to market opportunities in compound semiconductors. Projects may lead to future collaboration with the new Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult.

We expect projects to range in size from total costs of £50,000 to £500,000. Projects should last between 6 and 15 months. You must complete the work, and incur, pay and claim for all costs before the end of March 2018.

A business must lead the project. Projects with costs of £100,000 or above must be collaborative.

For further details and to apply please click here

LEP Grant helps Manufacturer create jobs

Thirty jobs have been created at Advanced Engineering Techniques following a grant from Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The privately owned manufacturer created jobs alongside staff promotions and new senior management positions.

Established in 1989, AET specialises in laser cutting, machining and fabrications, supplying sectors such as bus and coach, road freight, yellow goods, offshore platforms, lifting equipment and security sectors.

The expansion of AET’s manufacturing capacity and the improvement of the factory layout to create additional space was made possible thanks to a grant from the LEP of £99,000. This formed part of a £450,000 total investment.

David Birch, managing director of AET, said: “The grant from the LEP funding has allowed us to take on 30 new employees, buy two new robots which run 24 hours a day and change the layout of the factory, all helping to increase turnover by 25 per cent.”

The funding also helped to free up some of AET’s budget to provide further training of their staff.

Nigel Brewster, vice chairman of the Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “Thriving businesses such as AET unlock the region’s economic potential as well as build valuable international networks.

“The LEP board would like to congratulate all those at AET who have contributed towards the growth of the business and the benefit this brings to our region.”


Naylor Industries has pushed sales towards the £50m mark having overcome “exceptionally challenging” markets overseas. The South Yorkshire group, which comprises two manufacturing businesses, has now set its sights on expanding.

Founded in 1890, Barnsley-headquartered Naylor Industries is the parent company to Naylor Drainage and Naylor Concrete Products.

The former manufactures and sells clay and plastic decorative pots, while the latter manufactures concrete products.

For the year 29 February, Naylor Industries reported turnover of £48.3m compared to £46.8m the previous 12 months.

Pre-tax profit was also up from £1.59m to £1.73m.

The group said the year had been one of “good progress” although trading in overseas market had proved “exceptionally challenging”, with the strength of sterling impeding international competitiveness.

Naylor added that is turnover growth was held back by lower export sales within the clay division and difficult market conditions in the methyl plastics division.

Despite this, the group increased the size of its workforce from 292 to 316 “in anticipation of future growth”.

Naylor Drainage had a strong year and launched two new division; Naylor Environmental and Naylor Polymers. The company said that while the pair had not been material to the year’s activities, they are expected to contribute towards further growth.

The subsidiary also intends to expand its range of plastic pipes and is set to invest in its Cawthorne site towards the end of the 2017 financial year.

Meanwhile, Naylor Concrete Products had a “successful year’s trading”.

Group chief executive, Edward Naylor (pictured), said: “We are pleased at this performance in a transitional year in which we invested heavily in business infrastructure, with acquisition and refurbishment of the two new freehold sites at Barugh Green and Wombwell.

“We are already seeing the rewards of moving two businesses into larger premises, with the early stages of  2016/17 seeing organic growth as well as completion of the acquisition of Whites Concrete.”

Source: Matthew Ord, Business Insider, 27 July 2016