Hopes of creating hundreds of hi-tech aerospace jobs in South Yorkshire got a major boost yesterday when Rolls-Royce submitted plans to build three factories on the Advanced Manufacturing Park at Waverley.
The Derby-based aero engine specialist says it wants to build two factories for itself, which would initially create 350 jobs.
More jobs would be created at the third factory, which could be occupied by one of Rolls-Royce’s suppliers.
There are hopes that Rolls-Royce itself might create more jobs in the long run.
At present, the firm is only seeking outline permission for the project from planners at Rotherham Council.
But the company expects to submit detailed proposals for one of the factories it will occupy early next year and follow that up with proposals for the other factory before the end of that year.
If Rotherham Council gives those plans the go-ahead, the first factory, dubbed Project PoWer, could start production before the end of 2013.
Project PoWer would be dedicated to making safety critical components for civil nuclear power stations and could eventually cover 21,000 square metres – the size of almost three football pitches – although it would initially be smaller.
The second factory, which could eventually go up to 14,900 square metres, would be Rolls-Royce’s Advanced Blade Casting Facility and would make turbine blades for jet engines, which would have to withstand temperatures of more than 1,900°C.
Rolls-Royce has said it would start recruiting and training new employees while construction is underway and that jobs would also be available for apprentices, as part of the company’s plans to double the number of trainees it takes on every year.
The group is understood to have chosen South Yorkshire for its new plants because of the availability of people with the skills it needs, existing links with suppliers from the region, the ease of access to other parts of the UK and the rest of the world and its existing collaboration with Sheffield University over the creation of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and new Nuclear AMRC, which is currently being built at the AMP.