£15m nuclear research facility moves a step closer

How the facility could look
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Derby’s bid to establish a world-class advanced manufacturing research centre at Infinity Park Derby has taken a step closer, with the submission of a full planning application by Infinity Park Derby.

The new research facility will be operated by the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC), if approved.

The Nuclear AMRC helps companies develop new techniques to win work in the nuclear sector, and tackle manufacturing challenges in automotive, rail, aerospace, renewable energy and other high-value sectors. It is part of the national High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

The new manufacturing research centre is expected to initially create up to 70 high-value jobs, rising to 120 and will be capable of large-scale, high-precision machining, fabrication and assembly.

The new facility, with around 4,400 sq m of floorspace, will further extend the Nuclear AMRC’s ability to help manufacturers develop and adopt innovative technologies which will deliver the maximum impact for the UK’s nuclear supply chain.

Dr Emma Kelly, strategy director at Nuclear AMRC, said that the facility would create a permanent base for Nuclear AMRC in the city and raise the profile of Infinity Park Derby. “We’re delighted to see this project meet yet another key milestone,” she said.

“The Nuclear AMRC has run a successful pilot at the iHub facility on Infinity Park over the past two years, and we look forward to continuing and expanding into the new facility, working with Derby City Council, regional universities and businesses to deliver jobs and support the economic recovery of the region.”

The planning application proposes production space and two-storeys of office space with car parking, including the provision of four electric car charging points, cycle storage, and a secure service yard for HGV operations.

The application puts a strong emphasis on sustainability, “the development’s selection of materials has due regard to both energy efficiency, environmental impact, recyclability, and ongoing maintenance,” the application says. Proposals include the construction of a surface water attenuation lagoon with open grassland and shrub habitats that will be complemented by new broadleaved trees, and species-rich hedgerows – providing longer term benefits for biodiversity, landscape character and adaption to climate change.

Paul Simpson, chief executive at Derby City Council, said that the application was a good step forward for the project.

“This is yet another key milestone for this fantastic project. The proposed facility is great news for Derby’s SME businesses. We hope that this will further propel Infinity Park Derby as the manufacturing destination of choice. Having a world-class research facility on our doorstep is a huge boost for the city and supports our drive to emerge stronger in our economic recovery,” he said.

The application has been submitted by Infinity Park Derby. Development director, Mark Bielby said that Infinity Park was delighted to welcome the new NAMRC facility.

“The planning application is an important step in the delivery of the advanced research centre. The development stands as a testament to an excellent and effective working partnership between Infinity Park, Derby City Council, the AMRC, D2N2 and the University of Derby. The facility will help to further build Derby’s reputation as a city of innovation,” he said.

The facility would also become a base for the University of Derby’s Institute of Innovation in Sustainable Engineering, which has developed an international reputation for innovation in design, manufacturing, product lifecycle management and application of new and smart materials.