Boeing Sheffield.
Nick Hill

Groundbreaking ceremony marks start of construction at £20m Boeing facility in Sheffield

Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, held a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday to mark the construction of a £20m manufacturing and research building in Sheffield.

The new 66,700 sq ft facility, which is the company’s first European manufacturing plant, is being built at a site on the Sheffield Business Park.

Due open in late 2018, the facility will manufacture actuation system components for Boeing’s Next-Generation 737, 737 MAX and 777 aeroplanes.

Sir Michael Arthur, president of Boeing Europe and managing director of Boeing UK and Ireland, said: “Seven months after announcing our intention to build a factory in South Yorkshire, we are proud to celebrate the ground-breaking of Boeing Sheffield and welcome more Boeing employees to our company.

“Boeing Sheffield is further evidence of Boeing’s long-term commitment to the prosperity of this country. We are grateful to the communities of Sheffield and Rotherham, as well as Sheffield City Council and the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, for supporting Boeing Sheffield and our growing presence in the region.”

Boeing Sheffield will be a part of Boeing Fabrication, the company’s in-house parts-manufacturing operation. When it opens, Boeing Sheffield will produce as many as 8,000 components per month that will be shipped to Boeing Portland, to be assembled into actuation systems.

The Sheffield facility will initially employ 30 people on opening, growing to more than 50 employees. This includes 19 manufacturing apprentices, who have already been recruited and are being trained at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Training Centre in Rotherham.

Kimberly Smith, vice president and general manager of Boeing Fabrication, added: “We are delighted to welcome Boeing Sheffield, our newest member of the Boeing Fabrication family.

“The partnership between our sites in Sheffield and Portland is a win-win for aerospace innovation and our global growth strategy, as we develop a new source of expertise and talent in the U.K. and connect it with a high-performing, growing Boeing site in the U.S.”

Boeing also plans to launch a Research & Development program with the AMRC, which was originally established in 2001 with Boeing as a founding partner, to develop new manufacturing techniques that can be applied to the Boeing Sheffield facility.

Boeing employs more than 2,200 people across the UK at numerous sites, from Glasgow to Gosport.

Boeing’s direct expenditure with the UK aerospace industry in 2016 was £2.1bn and the company supports an estimated 16,500 jobs in the UK supply chain, in the process enhancing skills, facilitating exports and generating intellectual property.

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