Boeing announce big plans for Sheffield

Aircraft manufacturers Boeing have announced plans to open a £20m production facility in Sheffield for their next generation of aircrafts.

The move is part of a broader plan by Boeing to begin in-house manufacturing of components and systems in the UK. They hope the move will improve efficiency and reduce costs in their supply chain.

The facility will produce actuation systems, that help control the operation of wing tips on aircraft’s like the 737, 737 MAX and 777.

Boeing Sheffield will be the first of its kind in Europe and aims to encourage British manufacturing by nurturing talent and supporting global growth.

A mock up of the planned site

Boeing is the second company to announce plans for a manufacturing facility after supercar company McLaren announced their plans to build a new £50m facility.

Sir Michael Arthur, President of Boeing Europe and Managing Director of Boeing UK and Ireland said “The UK provides Boeing with the talent and infrastructure we need to grow and maintain a high level of productivity and quality to meet our significant order book.

“We are proud to expand our relationship with the UK Still further with Boeing Sheffield. Our decision to start manufacturing high-value components in the UK is a step-change in our engagement and a further example of Boeing’s commitment to grow here, supporting the UK’s long-term prosperity.”

The facility itself will employ approximately 30 people when it opens and will work closely with Boeing Portland, a company centre of Excellence for complex machining, gear systems and flight controls.

Sheffield will be producing systems to control the wing tips of aircrafts like this one

Boeing have also stated their intentions to source materials locally and will be inviting  a variety of business owners to bid for their business.

Whilst the move is still subject to local authority and planning permissions, the proposed 25,000 square foot facility will be built alongside The University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, a world renound research campus founded in 2001 by Boeing and the University of Sheffield.

Boeing expects to begin recruiting U.K. employees for the site as early as 2018, gathering a skilled workforce and building on their links to the centre.

Sheffield’s manufacturing is set to go sky high

Boeing also plan to set up a major research and development programme with the centre to develop new techniques for the facility.

Sheffield City Region Authority will support the centre through the provision of funding, providing all goes ahead as planned.

“Boeing Sheffield is an investment in manufacturing that will benefit our customers by driving improvements in quality and efficiency,” said Jenette Ramos, vice president and general manager of Boeing Fabrication.