Award winning project contributes £1.7m to regional economy

An award winning Sheffield Hallam University scheme that develops students’ skills through projects with local businesses and charity organisations has contributed an estimated £1.7 million to the regional economy.

‘Venture Matrix’ is a unique scheme that brings together students with businesses, charities and not-for-profit organisations from across the Sheffield City Region.

Students carry out projects that support the organisations to tackle current operational issues. They provide them with valuable consumer research, product design ideas and marketing suggestions.

The company can then use the advice offered to make a change to their business including better engagement on social media, potential international expansion, store location and pricing.

The students carry out the projects as a part of their studies and their work is supervised by academic staff.

Since 2013/14 the scheme has contributed over £1.7m to the local economy through more than 1,150 projects involving almost 4,500 students.

Of the 1,157 projects around 500 were with charities or not for profit organisations.

Charmaine Myers, the University lead for Venture Matrix, said: “The scheme is the biggest of its kind and is having a tangible impact on the regional economy by supporting the growth and development of local businesses.

“The companies involved with Venture Matrix with are often small or are not-for-profit organisations that wouldn’t be able to justify spending money on projects that aren’t business critical but by working with us they get access to innovative and creative ideas for free.

“The students benefit by working with a real client on a genuine issue or opportunity for the company, which is great for developing their understanding of actual challenges in business and in society.”

Local charity, the Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB), has worked with Venture Matrix on several projects over the last four years. These include digital production students who have created films about the charity’s service; interior design students who have given the charity design ideas for their building and business students who carried out market research.

Jane Peach, from SRSB, said: “Working with Venture Matrix is always a pleasure. They are very friendly team, but also very professional and organised.

“They have connected us to a wide variety of courses at Sheffield Hallam University where we have worked with many different students on several different projects over the last four years.

“As a charity we feel that our relationship with Venture Matrix offers students the opportunity to work on real life projects. It also means that we are raising awareness of visual impairment, and we are pleased that students will remember their research and delivery of projects for us when they begin work in their chosen career.”

To find out more about Venture Matrix visit the website.

For press information: Joanne Beattie in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2811 or email

 Pictured: Students taking part in a physical activity project with SRSB users.

 Notes to Editor

 The figure of £1.7million is reached on the basis that the consultancy based service on offer on each of the projects has a conservative value of £1,500 – including the initial ‘consultation’ with the client and time spent considering and presenting options/solutions to the issue.

£1,500 x 1,157 projects = £1.7million.

Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind (SRSB) provides opportunity, support, friendship and services to blind and partially sighted people in Sheffield, helping them to achieve whatever they wish to do and whatever they aspire to be.

About Sheffield Hallam University

Sheffield Hallam University is one of the largest universities in the UK, with more than 31,500 students.

It is one of the country’s largest providers of health and social care courses, teacher training, and sport and physical activity courses. It is also home to the UK’s largest modern business school.

Its courses are designed and delivered in close partnership with employers, professional associations and practice specialists to ensure that the skills our students develop are relevant. As a result, 93 per cent of its students are in employment or further training within six months of graduation.

As one of the UK’s most progressive universities, providing opportunity through widening participation is at the heart of the University. 96 per cent of its young full-time undergraduate UK students are from state schools/colleges and 41 per cent are from low income backgrounds.

Sheffield Hallam’s research is characterised by a focus on real world impact – addressing the cultural, economic and social challenges facing society today. 65 per cent of its research was rated world-leading or internationally excellent in the Research Excellence Framework.

Launch of ERDF Export For Growth Programme for the Y&H Region

Exporting for Growth Programme

The programme will deliver support to both first time exporters and those already exporting, across the Leeds City Region, Sheffield City Region and Humber LEPs, to allow businesses to grow their success within international markets.

Any company looking for funding must be working with the Department for International Trade and support must fit within a company’s overall export strategy.

To find out more please click here or to get in touch to receive additional information

International award for business courses at Sheffield Hallam

Tourism, hospitality and international business management courses at Sheffield Hallam University have once again received an international award in recognition of their quality.

Several courses run by Sheffield Business School have retained the EPAS Accreditation Award from the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD).

The EMFD Programme Accreditation Scheme (EPAS) evaluates the quality of business or management degree programmes that have an international perspective.

The recognition means the courses will benefit from international partnerships, and students will have more opportunities to work or study abroad.

The courses were originally accredited in 2013 and following a 3-day inspection visit from the EFMD they have been re-accredited with a number of undergraduate courses receiving a full five-year accreditation.

The accreditation team recognised the Business School for the work that has taken place to strengthen the quality of international partners, the strong regional corporate connections and its commitment to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME).

Professor Kevin Kerrigan, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Sheffield Business School, said: “I am delighted with this achievement, as are staff and students from across the business school.

“EPAS re-accreditation provides a global benchmark for the excellence of our student experience, knowledge creation and scholarly community. In particular, it underlines the innovative steps we have taken to internationalise our flagship programmes.

“Our students will continue to benefit from this accreditation through increased opportunities to broaden their learning experiences by studying abroad with partner institutions.”

The University is one of only a handful of institutions worldwide to obtain this accreditation award for its undergraduate hospitality and tourism courses and for a postgraduate international business course.

Courses that have been accredited are: MSc International Business Management; BSc (Hons) Hospitality Business Management; BSc (Hons) International Hotel Management; and BSc (Hons) Tourism Management.

For press information: Joanne Beattie in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2811 or email

Notes to editor

Sheffield Business School is the largest modern business school in the UK, with more than 7,000 students.

Our education and research is informed, influenced and enriched by our relationships with industry addressing modern sectors such as banking, tourism, hospitality and events management.

We pride ourselves on the relevance of our work and we place employability and social responsibility at the heart of what we do.


The work-wise Foundation and Made in Sheffield Launch the 2017 3i Innovation Competition

The launch event held on Monday 23rd January at AMRC-Training Centre, Rotherham saw 9 teams of students teamed up with 9 companies.

Year 7 to 11 students from a secondary school are teamed up with a local engineering, manufacturing or technology business to work on a real-life industry specific innovation challenge set by the company.  The challenge runs from January 2017 to 26th April 2017.

Supported by the IET and IMechE through their joint Engineering Education Grant Scheme each challenge is set by a business to simulate an actual business problem, giving insight into the daily challenges faced in business.  The challenges enable participants not only to understand product design and development, taking the product to market, contributing directly to enterprise and entrepreneurship.


This year’s 9 teams are:

  • Mexborough Academy with Vulcan to the Sky, Doncaster
  • Wingfield Academy with AMRC-TC, Rotherham
  • Stocksbridge High School with Parker Hannifin, Rotherham
  • Westfield School with Sheffield Tooling Co Ltd, Sheffield
  • Bradfield School with Riley’s Machine Tools, Sheffield
  • Outwood City Academy with Numill, Sheffield
  • Yewlands Academy with JRI Orthopaedics, Sheffield
  • Handsworth Grange with Sheffield College, Sheffield
  • Sheffield Park Academy with Chimo Holdings, Sheffield

The teams will display and present their work and their finished product/design at the annual Get up to Speed with Engineering and Manufacturing, careers showcase at Magna in Rotherham on 26th April 2017.  The teams will be interviewed by an independent judging panel of leaders.

This year’s Get up to Speed event already has over 1,000 young people booked to attend and 50  exhibitors and exciting attractions including Lauren Richardson, one of the top aerobatic display pilots in the UK; CNC machine manufacturer Yamazaki Mazak; British Armed Forces; Build a Plane project; University of Lincoln, Robotics, VR and 3D printing; F1 simulator and 10m STEM Scalextric challenge.

For further information please contact: John Barber, e:, m: 07500 331400,

More photos are available on request.

Newburgh Precision awarded AS9100 Accreditation

Newburgh Precision Ltd is celebrating after securing AS / EN 9100 accreditation on the first attempt at its Rotherham facility.

AS / EN AS9100 is an international quality management system standard for the Aerospace, Defence and Space industries.

Compliance with the standard is a key condition of doing business with many customers in these sectors.

Matthew Jewitt, Business Systems Director of Newburgh Precision, said: “Gaining AS9100 certification is an important step for Newburgh and a real tribute to the hard work and dedication of the team.”

“The certification demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement and our drive to  ensure the highest quality standards are met.”

Lee Townsend, Sales Director of Newburgh Precision, said: “AS9100 certification widens our approval to an internationally-recognised industry standard and will give us greater access to top tier companies and related opportunities.”

“The AS9100 certification combined with or increased site security levels aligns our business to our customers’ enhanced requirements and will deliver on our strategy of continued expansion in the Aerospace and Defence sectors.”

Source: Jackie Cook, Newburgh Precision

£400m Northern Powerhousse Fund Open for Business

The £400m Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, which is designed to boost small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the North and help them realise their growth potential, has launched.


The British Business Bank is behind the NPIF, with the initiative set to work with ten local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), combined authorities and growth hubs – as well as accountants, fund managers and banks – to provide a mix of debt and equity capital.

The scheme, which will be based in Sheffield, will make cash available to fund managers offering microfinance (£25,000 – £100,000), business loans (£100,000 – £750,000) and equity finance (up to £2m).

Initially announced in November 2015, the launch of the NPIF comes on the back of the British Business Bank’s recent Spotlight: The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund reported which suggested the North contributes £350bn per year in gross domestic product (GDP) – close to one fifth of the UK economy.

It is hoped the fund builds on this foundation by providing smaller businesses with an increased choice of funding and producing greater levels of investment across the Northern Powerhouse.

Keith Morgan, chief executive at the British Business Bank, said: “The region has enormous untapped economic potential that can be realised by improved funding options and opportunities.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund represents a co-ordinated policy approach to help realise this potential across the North.”

Andrew Percy, Northern Powerhouse minister, added: “Our efforts to build the Northern Powerhouse are delivering real results for local people, with over one million businesses involved, foreign direct investment up by a quarter and 187,000 jobs created in the past year alone.


“This dedicated £400m will help us go even further, supporting smaller businesses across the region to reach their full potential and helping to create an economy that works for everyone.”

The project is supported financially by the European Union, with the NPIF to combine capital allocated to the ten LEPs in the North West, Yorkshire and Humber and the Tees Valley by the European Regional Development Fund, a loan from the European Investment Bank, funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and an additional loan from British Business Finance.

Jonathan Taylor, vice president of the European Investment Bank, said: “The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will unlock the unparalleled innovation, talent and entrepreneurial spirit of the North and build on the world class strengths of the region.”

The fund managers appointed to manage the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund are:

  • Microfinance: Business Finance Solutions, MSIF, Finance for Enterprise and Business Enterprise Finance
  • Business Loans: FW Capital and Enterprise Ventures
  • Equity Finance: Maven Capital Partners and Enterprise Ventures

Although the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will cover the whole of the North West and Yorkshire, it will only finance North East businesses based in the area covered by the Tees Valley Unlimited LEP, with a separate £120m fund being run by the North East LEP.

Machine Vision and Embedded Systems Workshops – March 2017

Sheffield Innovation Programme – funding growth in the Sheffield City Region

Working with businesses directly to address their needs, the Sheffield Innovation Programme provides expertise to drive innovation and transformation for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Sheffield City Region.  Our expert team will work with you to determine your needs and propose a solution. Whether you need technical advice for new product development, process modelling to identify and overcome bottlenecks or industry focussed workshops to embed new technologies – we can help.

Machine Vision and Embedded Systems Workshops

As part of the Sheffield Innovation Programme Dr Fabio Caparrelli, a Senior Research Fellow with the Materials and Engineering Research Institute at Sheffield Hallam University, will be running a machine vision workshop to be delivered in 3 sessions.

These are aimed at process engineers and other technical staff involved in a manufacturing or quality control process.

Introduction to machine vision and the opportunities in the manufacturing and food industry

Tuesday 14 March, 4.30-7pm

 Machine vision algorithms and coding techniques

Tuesday 21 March, 10am-4pm

 Machine vision and embedded systems programming and implementation

Tuesday 28 March, 10am-4pm

Book your place now

Find out more

To find out more about how the Sheffield Innovation Programme can support your business, visit our website Sheffield Innovation Programme, call 0114 225 5000 or email

AMRC was the “ideal Place” – McLaren

The chief executive of McLaren Automotive has outlined the factors that attracted the supercar maker to the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

Developed with the support of Sheffield City Council, McLaren’s Composites Technology Centre will be responsible for the development and manufacturing of advanced carbon fibre chassis for the brand’s supercars.

“The attraction of Sheffield for McLaren is a number of things,” said McLaren chief executive Mike Flewitt. “One is the work that the university is doing in Sheffield with advanced structures and lightweight materials.

“It is something that is very much at the heart of McLaren, but also we’ve had amazing support from the Sheffield city and regional councils and between us we’ve put together a partnership of the three bodies: McLaren, the city council and the university to develop this centre.”

Flewitt also highlighted the “very good pool of skilled labour here”, adding how that was backed up by the “people who’ve already invested in the region, such as Boeing, Airbus, GKN and Rolls-Royce”.

“It is the ideal place for the development if this technology.”

Sir Nigel Knowles, chairman of Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “This is a truly important day for McLaren, the University of Sheffield and the Sheffield City Region.

“McLaren has chosen to open a purpose-built production facility here in the UK. And it is no accident that they have chosen to do so next to the world-leading Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre of the University of Sheffield at the heart of our city region.”

Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, also welcomed McLaren’s decision, which he said was “a very significant endorsement of the investments being made into the technology-led advanced manufacturing sector in the Sheffield region”.

“It is especially significant as it’s another boost, not just for our advanced manufacturing industry but also our knowledge-led local economy.

“It builds further on the strong education/employer partnership we’ve created with our two universities, Sheffield College and UTCs across the city business region, and the focus on ensuring our young people have the right skills to contribute to and meet the demands of a modern economy and workplace.

“It is a welcome acknowledgement of the work being done at the AMRC, and, more widely, a real confidence boost for the whole city business region and its future productivity and performance.”

Source: Laurence Kilgannon, Insider Media, 16th February 2017


Recently rebranded from Triten, Red Dog Linings is an international hardfacing specialist, offering services to reduce abrasion and impact in bulk materials processing plants.

The company exports nearly two thirds of its products overseas which are used in a variety of industries including steel, cement, waste-to-energy, chemical and recycling.

Managing director Phil Leonard (pictured), who led the MBO, joined the company as a regional salesman in 1992 and worked his way up to his current post in 2002.

He successfully led a partial MBO in 2013 and the company has since continued to grow into new markets both domestically and internationally.

“This secondary buyout is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the team which enables us to really build on our current success and expand on the incredible achievements made to date,” said Leonard.

Source and Full Article: Laurence Kilgannon, Insider Media, 3rd February 2017

£100m Deal Safeguards 1,700 Steel Jobs

A £100m deal has been sealed that will secure the future of Tata Steel UK’s speciality steels business and about 1,700 jobs in South Yorkshire and the West Midlands.

Liberty House Group has signed an agreement with Tata Steel UK to acquire the division.

As well as the direct jobs, thousands more roles in the supply chain and regional economy have been safeguarded. The sale follows a due diligence period, after the parties entered exclusive discussions in November 2016.

The acquisition will make Liberty one of the largest steel and engineering employers in the UK with more than 4,000 workers at plants located across Britain’s industrial heartlands.

Speciality steels, which makes high-value steels for the aerospace, automotive and oil and gas industries has manufacturing facilities in Rotherham, Stocksbridge and Brinsworth in South Yorkshire and Wednesbury in the West Midlands, as well as service centres located in Bolton, and in China.

Liberty works with energy company SIMEC – a fellow member of the GFG Alliance – on its GREENSTEEL strategy, which involves the recycling of UK scrap using renewable energy. The speciality steels acquisition is a major step forward for this strategy as it gives the group melting capacity in Britain for the first time.

Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the Liberty House Group, said: “I am proud that we are acquiring a world-class business with a very skilled workforce and broad range of high-value products.

“It is one of only a handful of such operations in the world and I am confident it will flourish within our group.”

Business secretary Greg Clark added: “Acquiring Tata’s speciality steels business in South Yorkshire and West Midlands, which manufactures high quality steel for some of the UK’s world leading industries such as aerospace and automotive is a great opportunity for Liberty House.

“I look forward to hearing more about their expansion plans which secures skilled jobs at the business into the future.”

The speciality steels transaction is the latest in a succession of acquisitions and business turnarounds undertaken by Liberty House, including metal, energy, engineering, property and financial assets in South

Wales, the West Midlands and Scotland.

Macquarie Capital (Europe) acted as financial adviser to Liberty House in the acquisition.

Source: Laurence Kilgannon, Insider Media, 9th February 2017