Supporting the steel industry at WMG
WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) at the University of Warwick has created a cutting-edge research, design and skills infrastructure zone in its Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Centre.
Its work is focused on supporting the development of new lightweight steel products as well as building an environment to develop the next generation of experts in this specialist field and can be accessed by SMEs as well as global businesses.
The three-year project has received £1 million of funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) to buy key R&D equipment and a further £1 million from WMG which includes industry funding.
Professor Claire Davis, of WMG, said 30 businesses would be supported in developing new high-value steel products which would involve safeguarding 40 jobs.
She said: “This project will create a range of facilities for companies, however large or small, in Coventry and Warwickshire to understand every aspect of the steel process and develop new products.
“This will mean businesses can forensically analyse all the aspects involved in the processing of their products and can re-design if necessary to make them better.
“We have a dedicated support programme to introduce companies to materials opportunities to understand how they can be applied to create new products or improve existing products.
“This is a really exciting sector and having this dedicated facility means we can improve the skills of people working in the industry.”
Jonathan Browning, chair of the CWLEP, said it had been interesting to see the state-of-the-art equipment and research facilities.
“The Local Growth Fund is making a real different to projects throughout Coventry and Warwickshire and this involves one of our key priorities – advanced manufacturing and engineering,” he said.
“The facility will increase engagement with SMEs as well as worldwide companies and will provide practical, high-level support in research and design to keep the UK leading the steel research agenda.
“This project at the University of Warwick is not just about funding equipment, it is about improving products and the knowledge of businesses involved in the sector. It was a really interesting visit and I am sure it will lead to the creation of more innovative products.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Local Growth Fund
Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone.
That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.
Analysis has shown that every £1 of Local Growth Fund invested could generate £4.81 in benefits.
If you would like some further facts about the Fund, or the wider regeneration work going on across the country, please contact DCLG press office by emailing NewsDesk@communities.gsi.gov.uk in the first instance to request any additional information you might need.
Some additional key facts:
- There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England
- The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth.
- LEPs are investing in a wide range of projects informed by detailed analysis of the most pressing economic needs in each of their areas, including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences.
- The government is committed to making the Midlands an Engine for Growth in the UK, increasing economic growth and improving the quality of life for everyone. The Midlands is home to over 10 million people and over 780,000 businesses. Its economy is worth £217.7 billion.
- So far the government has awarded £1.9 billion in three rounds of Growth Deals across the Midlands.
- 8 Enterprise Zones have been established in the Midlands Engine since 2012, and 3 zones have been extended. By March 2016 these had attracted almost £1 billion of private investment, and created 85 new businesses and 7,291 jobs.