Hallam’s food engineering research centre receives £600k grant

Sheffield Hallam University’s National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering has received a £600,000 grant from Sheffield City Region (SCR).

The grant is part of a total of £10m Local Growth Fund (LGF) that the SCR Mayoral Combined Authority meeting, chaired by Mayor Dan Jarvis, members formally agreed.

The Local Growth Fund (LGF) is government funding awarded to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) for projects that benefit the local area and economy.

More than £600,000 was agreed for the University’s National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering, a £10.6m new-build research and development facility alongside the Olympic Legacy Park in Attercliffe.

Dr Martin Howarth, director of the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering, said: “The centre will support the food and drink industry to develop and implement new and enhanced facilities, processes and equipment, to keep the UK at the forefront of capability and efficiency in a very competitive sector.

“It will also enhance the development of a highly educated and knowledgeable workforce, through staff development and supporting employees with experience of leading engineering systems and processes.

“This project builds on our existing strong track record of providing excellent research and knowledge transfer, and of working in partnership with industry to develop education programmes that are designed to support companies by creating highly skilled and employable graduates, ready for the world of work.”

The Centre is designed to tackle food industry challenges such as productivity, health, minimising waste and reducing energy use. It will support the food and drink industry by developing new and enhanced facilities, processes and equipment and creating a knowledgeable workforce with experience of leading engineering systems and processes.

The grant comes two weeks after working began on constructing the new centre, which is due to open next year.

Mayor Jarvis said: “This is an exciting time for us in the Sheffield City Region, with hugely significant investments from world-leading companies putting us firmly on the international map.

“It is also important that whilst we’re developing these cutting-edge facilities in our Global Innovation Corridor, we are also putting in place the development projects that our communities need: roads, homes, public spaces, shops and offices – so that we can improve our region and make it fit for the 21st century.

“That’s why funding pots such as LGF, devolved to decision-makers at a regional level, are so important in supporting our communities to grow and thrive.”

Sheffield Hallam University is a driver of economic growth, addressing long-term challenges, attracting investment and narrowing the skills gap within the region and beyond.

Home to the UK’s largest modern business school and working with around 2,000 large and small employers every year, its students, industrial partnerships and research help businesses innovate and succeed.

Reflecting the vocational nature of the University, Sheffield Hallam students undertake over 25,000 placements with employers every year and its talented graduates are a key resource with the necessary skills to help industry grow. The centre, and the associated Master’s degree, MEng Food Engineering, have been developed in partnership with the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink, along with funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The new Centre is due to open in summer 2019 and will form part of Sheffield Hallam’s Health Innovation Park situated at the heart of the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park. The Park will co-locate research and innovation alongside education, health, leisure and business. It will be a model of urban development that will drive economic growth, health improvements and community wellbeing.