Sheffield Hallam University welcomes Siemens CEO to business innovation networking event

Sheffield Hallam University will welcome Siemens UK’s CEO Juergen Maier to an innovation network event aimed at connecting the city’s manufacturing businesses with digital entrepreneurs.

The Digital Transformation event has been organised by the University’s Sheffield Innovation Programme (SIP) team along with colleagues from the University of Sheffield and will feature a talk by Juergen on how digital technologies can help manufacturing businesses to lead a 4th Industrial revolution.

On 15 March, The Cutlers Hall in Sheffield will host Juergen and also Mark Webber, managing director of Tinsley Bridge, who will give a regional perspective and talk about the impact of innovation for manufacturing on his business and also its importance to the city region.

SIP provides expertise, workshops and networking that help regional businesses to grow through adopting new technologies and skills. The Digital Transformation evening event comes following a two-day innovation workshop for regional digital businesses looking to find out more about how they can help manufacturers to further grow their operations

Alex Prince, head of knowledge exchange at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “We are delighted to be hosting this event, bringing together these two critical sectors and creating opportunities for collaboration and innovation, with the aim of boosting manufacturing and increasing productivity for the region.

“Juergen was commissioned by government to put forward proposals for an Industrial Digitalisation sector deal and led on the Made Smarter Review. These set out how UK manufacturing can be transformed through the adoption of industrial digital technology and play a stronger leadership role in driving the 4th Industrial Revolution.

“Tinsley Bridge is an award winning engineering and manufacturing business based in Sheffield, and will talk about their perspective and the impacts and importance of innovating for them.

“Events such as this are part of a broader innovation programme; bringing world-leading entrepreneurs, companies and technologies into the region, helping to develop economic growth and offering practical support and innovation for businesses.”

Tickets for the two day event and evening talk with Juergen Maier are available to businesses from the city region. If you wish to attend please secure your spot by visiting HERE

The event is the latest in a series of workshops hosting by SIP. For more information, please visit


The Sheffield-based William Cook group has secured export orders of £5m for its tank track systems.

The engineering company will supply its custom-designed tracks for an allied regional power in the Middle East in a deal worth £3m. It is also manufacturing tracks worth £2m for a friendly nation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Chris Seymour, managing director, said: “We are proud to be flying the flag for British manufacturing as the trusted supplier of track systems to defence ministries and their contractors in Anglophile countries around the world.

“We continue to invest in our business for future growth by adding new technology and talent at our manufacturing plants in Sheffield, Leeds and Stanhope.”

William Cook’s defence division is on target for a record year with sales in excess of £25m.

The business is also set to unveil a new investment at its Stanhope plant in County Durham later this year.

Source: Stephen Farrell, Insider Business, 21st February 2018


A historic Sheffield manufacturer of gardening, agricultural and giftware products has been acquired by a Canada-based group.

Burgon & Ball has been making hand sheep shears on the same site in Sheffield since 1730 and have produced about 25 million pairs in that time.

The company, which also has a sales and marketing office in Poole, has been bought by Venanpri Tools, the hand tools division of Venanpri Group and owner of the Bellota and Corona brands.

Heather Culpan, managing director of Burgon & Ball, said: “The success of Burgon & Ball has been built on its commitment to the creation of design and function-led products with enhanced customer appeal and drawing on its Sheffield heritage. I am confident that the company will continue to progress through seizing new product and investment opportunities and synergy with the Corona and Bellota businesses.”

Tuffin Ferraby Taylor (TFT) has provided technical due diligence as part of the sale. It was instructed by environmental consultant Delta Simons.

Paul Spaven, partner at TFT said: “I have carried out technical due diligence of a huge range of commercial buildings, across the UK and Europe, but the survey of the Burgon & Ball factory was rather special. During my two days of inspections I witnessed handcrafted sheep shears being expertly produced in the same way and to the same design as they were back in 1720, and at the same site in Sheffield.

“It also gave me the opportunity to explore the physical heritage of the factory. The former water and steam powered facilities, the patina of over almost 300 years of working the steel and evidence of the historic export led growth of the business.”

Source: Stephen Farrrell, Insider Business, 16 February 2018


Despite a 5.1 per cent fall in the market in the fourth quarter, annual transactions were the second highest following the all-time record set in 2016.

Smaller cars continued to be the most popular, with superminis representing a third (33.5 per cent) of all transactions, while demand for minis grew 4.3 per cent.

SUVs enjoyed the strongest growth, rising 9.5 per cent, the SMMT said, however, apart from executive cars, up a marginal 0.02 per cent, all other segments experienced declines.

Demand for petrol-electric hybrid cars was up 22.2 per cent to 73,864, and zero emission electric vehicles rose 77.1 per cent, with 10,199 changing hands in the year.

Despite a 4.3 per cent decline, petrol retained its position as the most popular fuel type with a 58 per cent market share, while used diesel car transactions rose 3.3 per cent, with more than 3.3million motorists (40.8 per cent of buyers) investing in one.

Across the UK, the majority of used car transactions took place in the South East, with more than 1.2 million vehicles finding new owners in the region, followed by the North West and West Midlands.

The UK’s best-selling used model remained the Ford Fiesta, closely followed by the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Corsa.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “Britain’s used car buyers are enjoying more choice than ever, and it’s great to see millions of people taking advantage of the low emission, safety and convenience technology filtering into this market.

“While such healthy demand is reassuring, to keep it that way and accelerate renewal throughout the fleet – the fastest way to improve air quality – government must now restore confidence to the new car sector.

“Given the recent economic and fiscal uncertainty, particularly over diesel, consumers and businesses need clarity to encourage them to move out of their older vehicles and into newer, lower emission cars – whatever their fuel type.”

Source: Jon Robinson, Insider Media, 15 February 2018

University of Sheffield signs up as Northern Powerhouse Partner

The University of Sheffield has become the latest organisation to sign up as a Northern Powerhouse partner.

The university, which has 29,000 students and 7,000 staff, joins a group of northern organisations that have pledged to work with the government to help the north achieve its full potential and attract new jobs and investment.

The agreement was signed on a visit by Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry to the university’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) yesterday (12 February 2018).

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “If the north of England is to create the strong economy which will be needed to create wealth and opportunities, it needs to work in new ways to be globally competitive.

“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.”

Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry added: “I was delighted to visit my alma mater, the University of Sheffield, including its state-of-the-art AMRC Training Centre which is helping to train the next generation of engineers and manufacturers in the Northern Powerhouse.

“The University of Sheffield is at the forefront of higher education in the UK and joins a number of British universities commanding high positions in global rankings – they contribute enormously to the international standing of the Northern Powerhouse and its reputation as a world-leader in research and academic excellence.”

The AMRC carries out world-leading research into advanced machining, manufacturing and materials and has more than 100 industrial partners, including global giants such as Boeing, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Airbus.

Source: Stephen Farrell, Insider Media, 13 February 2018