A new partnership that is aiming to help unlock the economic potential of the area surrounding Doncaster Sheffield Airport has been launched this week.
The collaboration, between Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Peel L&P and the University of Sheffield, is set to explore how the parties can work together to catalyse the development of a high-value innovation cluster at GatewayEast.
Peel L&P’s 11 million sq ft GatewayEast development has been highlighted as an emerging innovation district by the Sheffield City Region Strategic Economic Plan.
Anchored by Doncaster Sheffield Airport, the district has international connectivity for both passengers and freight as well excellent road connections for logistics and travel throughout the UK.
The district offers a wide range of development opportunities and has the potential to be harnessed to create up to 35,000 jobs and 3,000 new homes worth £6.5 billion to the local economy by 2037, according to the district’s lead – Peel L&P.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been agreed which enables the partners to bring together their expertise and consider projects that could accelerate development of the area to benefit the region. One option could be to develop a business case for a R&D facility in the district.
Linked to research from across the University together with the expertise of the partners, an R&D facility would have the potential to become a world class asset where research, innovation, sustainability, education and training come together to put technology into practice for the benefit of industry, the Sheffield City Region and the North.
A facility could also provide the foundation to introduce a skills academy that focuses on working with industry to deliver a deep pool of talent across the region, in collaboration with local further education providers.
Professor Dave Petley, Vice-President for Innovation at the University of Sheffield, said: “The partnership gives us the opportunity to see how we can work together on projects that will help unlock the economic potential of GatewayEast whilst also driving skills, education and innovation for the benefit of the region.”
The partnership will also maximise further opportunities already provided through the Catapult status of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC).
The Catapult Network is an integral part of the UKs innovation system, supported by the government to support universities, businesses and UK technologies that can bring substantial economic benefits, and assist the ‘Levelling Up’ agenda. The partnership proposes to foster continued collaboration between the University, including its Catapult centres, Peel L&P and Doncaster Sheffield Airport, its common purpose to create opportunities for economic growth.
Chris Harcombe, Managing Director, Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: “We know that airports act as important catalysts to regional economic growth. The partnership between DSA, Peel L&P and the University of Sheffield to create an excellence-led innovation cluster, will be a powerful tool for high-value inward investment for the Sheffield City Region.”