Aero-engine research centre at Ansty Park opened

(L-R) University of Birmingham vice-chancellor Sir David Eastwood, parliamentary under secretary of state for business, innovation and skills Richard Harrington, Rugby MP Mark Pawsey and Rolls Royce's Andy Greasley. Photo courtesy of Mark Pawsey
(L-R) University of Birmingham vice-chancellor Sir David Eastwood, parliamentary under secretary of state for business, innovation and skills Richard Harrington, Rugby MP Mark Pawsey and Rolls Royce's Andy Greasley. Photo courtesy of Mark Pawsey
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A state-of-the-art, aero-engine research centre at Ansty Park was officially opened by business minister Richard Harrington alongside Rugby MP Mark Pawsey.

The High Temperature Research Centre will enable the next generation of pioneering aero-engine development to take place near the town where Sir Frank Whittle developed the jet engine 80 years ago.

Mr Pawsey said: “I was delighted to be able to join the minister and representatives of Rolls-Royce and the University of Birmingham to celebrate the opening of this world-class research centre on the edge of Rugby.

"Investments such as this in the future of high tech manufacturing are key to retaining Britain’s status as a leader in engineering innovation.”

The facility, based alongside the Manufacturing Technology Centre, is a joint venture between the University of Birmingham and Rolls Royce.

In addition to the investment by Rolls-Royce and a government grant, the research centre has already secured substantial funding for research.

Parliamentary under secretary of state for business, innovation and skills Mr Harrington 'cut the ribbon' last week.

“This centre, supported by government funding of £20m, provides a unique opportunity for collaboration between researchers, designers and manufacturers to develop and adopt novel and advanced manufacturing technologies for high temperature materials," he said.

"As well as helping companies like Rolls-Royce to develop greener and more efficient aero-engines in the future, it will assist companies more widely across manufacturing sectors.

"It is a further demonstration of the government’s ongoing commitment to the advanced manufacturing in the UK as part of our modern industrial strategy.”

University of Birmingham vice-chancellor Sir David Eastwood added: “This critical partnership provides an unparalleled opportunity to accelerate manufacturing research in the UK.

"Our bold and ambitious approach in the construction of this facility, builds on the university’s long-standing track-record in casting, materials, engineering and manufacturing to develop next generation technologies.”

Mr Pawsey said: “Many of my constituents don’t realise we have this fantastic facility on our doorstep, building on the West Midlands’ proud history of engineering and manufacturing.

"Investment such as this will help to deliver the technological breakthroughs of tomorrow.

"I welcome the proposals by the government to bring forward an industrial strategy which will bring together businesses, the higher education sector and the government to back one of our most successful sectors.”