It has been reported that plans for a new multi-million-pound manufacturing and research centre in Darwen, Lancashire, UK, have been approved by Darwen Council’s planning and highways committee. Discussions are said to be well-advanced with Sheffield University to be the anchor tenant, bringing its Additive Manufacturing Accelerator to the facility.

The project, initiated by Barnfield Blackburn Ltd – a joint venture between Barnfield Group and Blackburn with Darwen Council – has received support from the £100 million Darwen Town Deal.

“We worked incredibly hard to secure the full £25m through the Town Deal and then use that to unlock more than £100m of new funding for Darwen,” stated Wayne Wild, Chair of the Darwen Town Deal board. “The AMRC facility could be the first of its kind for the country – pioneering additive and 3D printing technology and creating opportunities for local businesses to thrive in that sector.”

The scheme aims to create a ‘sector cluster’ consisting of a manufacturing research centre and ten smaller industrial units.

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