Chancellor to launch £60m aerospace centre and national 3D printing centre

CONFIRMATION of a £60m boost to the region’s aerospace sector is expected today when the Chancellor of the Exchequer visits Coventry’s Manufacturing Technology Centre.

In addition to the new High Temperature Research Centre announced in December, the Chancellor is also expected to confirm the creation of a new national centre for additive manufacturing – or 3D printing.

Both schemes are expected to lead to hundreds of new jobs being created.

The 3D centre will show how the latest technology can be used to enable complex components to be manufactured far cheaper than traditional production methods.

The HTRC is collaboration between the University of Birmingham and aero engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce. It is a welcome boost to the area after Rolls-Royce announced at the beginning of last year almost 400 job losses with the closure of its maintenance facility at Ansty Park.

The 5,800m² centre is funded through a £40m investment by Rolls-Royce, matched by a £20m government grant through the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s (HEFCE) UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF). Construction is due to start in the spring.

The HTRC is intended to be a unique casting, design, simulation and advanced manufacturing research facility. Focussed initially on the key manufacturing areas of investment casting, design for manufacture and systems simulation, the centre will then draw in additional research competencies related to these areas through wider industry and academic involvement.  

Government funding for the twin schemes will be matched by contributions from the aerospace industry.

Both facilities are being built next to the MTC.