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Rotherham based Food Circle expand into new premises

posted 30 Oct 2018, 09:30 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 30 Oct 2018, 09:30 ]

Rotherham-based online supermarket, Food Circle, has moved into new premises in Dinnington following rapid expansion. The company, whose main aim is to tackle the issue of food waste fuelled by a national marketing campaign, has seen its customer base double within a matter of weeks.

Food Circle, which was launched in January 2018 by Sheffield Hallam graduate James Barthorpe and his business partner Paul Simpson, is the first online UK-based retailer offering surplus "in-date" healthy food and drink products to customers at half the recommended retail price.

Previously based at RiDO's Century Business Centre in Manvers, the company has now made the move to larger premises at Matrix Business Centre, another centre operated by RiDO. The new location is ideally situated for distribution, making it easier to ship stock to customers across the nation as well as having more room to store the increasing product range.

As part of an ambitious growth strategy, they rolled out a comprehensive online and social media marketing campaign with the help of funding from a UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE) Kickstart grant in September; securing a raft of new clientele and solidifying Food Circle Supermarket's presence as the only retailer of its kind in the UK.

James Barthorpe, co-founder of Food Circle Supermarket, said: "We've been in contact with UK Steel Enterprise since we pitched for their investment as part of the Y-Accelerator programme in March 2018. Since then, the team have been very pro-active in offering their advice and support which has added a lot of value to our business.

"We were also given access to a UKSE Kickstart grant of £500 which we put towards our first ever proactive marketing campaign which has helped us to reach more new customers and grow our business significantly over the last couple of months."

Alan Stanley of UKSE, added: "I'm delighted that James and Paul's hard work and dedication has been recognised in their nomination for a Sheffield Business Award and would like to congratulate them on behalf of everyone at UKSE for their Hallam Enterprise Award win.

"It's excellent to see that the Kickstart grant has been of great help to Food Circle Supermarket, allowing them to reach out to their target market and promote the importance of diverting surplus food away from landfill."

Food Circle website

Plant science firm grows after boost from Y-Accelerator

posted 29 Oct 2018, 09:14 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 29 Oct 2018, 09:15 ]

A Rotherham start-up specialising in scientific apparatus for plant science research has turned their ‘idea on the back of an envelope' into an actual business, after accessing a regional business support programme.

Entrepreneurs Alexis Moschopoulos and Richard Banks have designed new smart plant growth chambers for plant science research. The idea came to Alexis after struggling for many years with poor quality growth chambers while conducting research in plant science. 

The duo read about Y-Accelerator and saw it as an opportunity to make their business, Grobotic Systems, a reality.

The Y-Accelerator programme offers the city region’s next business leaders the opportunity to benefit from a three-month intensive development programme featuring expert advice, mentor support and specialist workshops, as well as the chance to pitch to a panel of high-profile investors including Mercia Technologies, Angels Group, Jenton Group and UK Steel Enterprise.

The programme is delivered by a partnership of the Sheffield City Region Growth Hub, Rotherham Investment and Development Office (RiDO) and Sheffield Hallam University. 

Alexis said: “It really helped us focus on our ideas and confirm our beliefs about our product and our target customers. Also, the training on developing a pitch was very good and very helpful for us to concisely pitch for investment on such a niche and complicated subject.” 

Delivered through one-to-one and group sessions, tailored to meet the needs of every candidate, the Y-Accelerator programme’s network of advisors, mentors and businesses will provide insight and expertise.

The 12-week programme will run from November 2018 to February 2019 and include business modelling techniques, expert advice, mentors, specialist workshops, market research and individual support to help the ten chosen projects build a strong customer proposition and financial model as well as learn to effectively communicate the business value to customers and investors.

Amanda Parris, Business Growth Manager for RiDO, said: “This is a programme like no other and we want people who think differently, who we can work with to create a viable, scalable business and this is certainly the case with Alexis and Richard’s business. 

“We have a highly experienced team, part of Rotherham’s network of business incubators, to support entrepreneurs. The Y-Accelerator programme is open to all industry sectors, although logistics, manufacturing, and automation are especially of interest.”

Having been involved with the Y-Accelerator for a number of years UK Steel Enterprise, a subsidiary of Tata Steel tasked with helping the economic regeneration of communities affected by changes in the steel industry, is offering a £1,000 prize for the winner of this year’s programme.

Regional Manager of UKSE, Keith Williams, added: “This year, we’re offering a cash prize for the winner which will allow them to kick-start their business model that will have been developed and nurtured throughout the 12-week programme. In addition, they will have the opportunity to pitch for investment.”

Also, Design futures, a commercially focused product and packaging design consultancy group based within Sheffield Hallam University, is offering consultancy services worth £2,000. This will be broken down into seven, two-hour sessions. 

The Y-Accelerator programme is currently open to applicants from all industry sectors, although logistics, manufacturing, and automation are especially of interest.

Y-Accelerator is a collaboration between private and public organisations, including Sheffield Hallam University, RiDO and entrepreneur in residence from Gripple Ltd.

Work begins on Gulliver's Valley Theme Park

posted 25 Sep 2018, 06:44 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 25 Sep 2018, 06:45 ]

Work has begun on the new Gulliver’s family theme park resort – with the developers looking to open to the public in spring 2020.

The development – which Gulliver’s say will be their “most ambitious theme park to date” was granted planning permission by Rotherham Council last year. 

The Gulliver’s Valley resort, which will be situated on the 250 acre former Pithouse West site between Wales Bar and Aston in the south of the borough, will include a main theme park hub along with family -friendly accommodation with glamping, self-catering woodland lodges and the central Lilliput Castle Hotel.
 
Cllr Denise Lelliott, Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy said: “I’m really excited to see work starting on this major development for Rotherham and what promises to be a catalyst for economic growth and job creation in the area.
 
“I look forward to seeing work progress on the site and the hard work and planning over the past few years coming to fruition.
 
“With work now starting on Gulliver’s, and the new caravan and campsite facilities at nearby Rother Valley Country Park also progressing well, I hope the area will be welcoming in many visitors in the not-too-distant future.”
 
Gulliver’s aims to open its brand-new Valley Resort in 2020 which will include a main theme park hub, with rides and attractions aimed at children aged two to 13 and their families. Gulliver’s Valley will also include an indoor water play zone, a climbing centre, a glades attraction, and an education and ecology centre encompassing forest classrooms and outdoor learning adventures for young children.
 
The resort will also offer family-friendly accommodation in the shape of glamping, self-catering woodland lodges and the central Lilliput Castle Hotel. The development will encompass Gully's Dream Village, a community where children with life-threatening illnesses can be given the chance to enjoy cost-free respite in a magical environment.
 
In addition, nature trails, walks, outdoor gyms and woodland runs at Gulliver’s Valley will be available to be used by the local community as well as visitors to the theme park.

Harworth complete phase three of AMP development

posted 12 Sep 2018, 07:23 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 12 Sep 2018, 07:24 ]

Harworth Group plc, a leading regenerator of land and property for development and investment, has announced the practical completion of six new speculative ‘R-evolution’ units totalling 56,549 sq. ft as part of its continued expansion of the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham. 



The AMP, the UK’s premier advanced technology park, has been designed to bring together world-class organisations for the advancement of technology solutions in precision industries, including aerospace, defence, construction, automotive and sport. 

Additional major occupiers include the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, Boeing, Rolls Royce, McLaren Automotive, Castings Technology International (CTI), Dormer Tools and Sandvik Coromant.

David Travis, Director of Business Space at Harworth Group, said:

“Another six completed units have been delivered to the highest quality and I want to express my continued thanks to both JF Finnegan and our appointed project team for a job well done. We are now focussed on promoting these units for immediate leasehold occupation to advanced manufacturing and engineering companies, who wish to be a part of the collaborative cluster of high-value occupants that has been successfully established at the AMP over the last decade.”

The scheme is being marketed by jointly appointed agents Knight Frank and Gent Visick.

Metalysis powers up first industrial scale plant in Rotherham

posted 11 Sep 2018, 08:04 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 11 Sep 2018, 08:04 ]

Rotherham based Metalysis is powering up a world-first commercial plant at its Materials Manufacturing Centre in Wath.

The Generation 4 project was mechanically completed in 2017 and has since undergone hot commissioning, trial runs, optimisation and handover to Operations. The handover signifies Metalysis’ transition into commercial production following more than a decade of phased technology development.

Gen4 is the first facility to take Metalysis’ solid-state, modular, electrochemical process to industrial scale and can produce tens-to-hundreds of tonnes per annum of high value, niche and master alloys. 

The modularity of the technology offers further benefits. Unlike most supply sources for niche alloys, Metalysis’ Gen4 plant can offer a wide range of order quantities. Throughout phased expansions, the technology has also presented opportunities to reduce all-in costs and environmental footprints compared to traditional, melting production routes. Gen4 expresses the modularity benefits at industrial scale.

“In powering up and operating our industrial plant, Metalysis is poised to achieve its target to generate significant profits from our new South Yorkshire production facility,” Dr. Dion Vaughan, Chief Executive Officer, said.

“Ours is a true British success story with international implications. Metalysis has grown from the ‘lightbulb moment’ at Cambridge University in the late-1990s, relocated to South Yorkshire to benefit from regional excellence in operational skill-sets in the early-2000s, and now onwards towards a bright commercial future.”

“We share this achievement with a number of partners, notably our plant-builder, K Home International, and our shareholders who have supported the journey.”

Developer selected for Forge Island regeneration

posted 24 Aug 2018, 02:52 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 24 Aug 2018, 02:53 ]

Muse Developments has been chosen by Rotherham Council as its preferred partner for the regeneration of Forge Island.


The successful proposal submitted by Muse Developments includes a cinema, food and drink outlets and a hotel. The leisure facilities will be set within an attractive public space and will include a new pedestrian bridge connecting to the rest of the town centre.

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Jobs and the Local Economy, Cllr Denise Lelliott, said: “The very high quality proposals we received reflect the confidence investors have in the future direction and potential of Forge Island, to become a quality development which will achieve lasting benefits for the local community."

Muse Developments is one of the country's leading names in mixed-use development and urban regeneration and has more than 30 years’ experience of delivering high quality developments, including Wakefield’s Merchant Gate, City Place in Chester, Liverpool’s St. Paul’s Square and Marischal Square in Aberdeen.

Dan Needham, Development Director at Muse Developments, said: “We’re delighted to be given the opportunity to work with Rotherham Council. This is an exciting proposal for the regeneration of Forge Island and will maximise the benefits of the waterside location as well as extend the town’s cultural offer.”

Further discussions will now take place with Muse with contracts expected to be signed shortly and a planning application submitted later in the year.

The first phase of work has an expected start date of October 2019, with completion within two years.

Muse Developments will also join the Council at this year's Rotherham Show on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 September at Clifton Park. Residents and businesses are invited to visit the Transforming Rotherham marquee to view the plans and talk to the developers.

RNN Group receive keys to the University Centre Rotherham

posted 9 Aug 2018, 07:55 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 9 Aug 2018, 07:56 ]

The RNN Group has received the keys to University Centre Rotherham (UCR), marking the build’s completion by contractors, Willmott Dixon.

Willmott Dixon has been working closely with the Group since last September, from milestone events highlighting the development’s rapid progress, to inviting Construction students from across all three Colleges to gain insight into working on large-scale projects.

Alan Neal, Construction Manager for Willmott Dixon who has led and overseen the development from its earliest stages said, “As a local company based in Yorkshire with a strong track record of work in Rotherham, we are excited to be handing over the keys to this brilliant new university centre. One aspect we are proud of is how we’ve been able to work closely with companies in and around Rotherham, to ensure as many as possible were involved with the building work.

“University Centre Rotherham will provide important skills that will benefit the local economy for years to come and we hope it will also encourage many students to choose a career in construction.”

A brand new campus dedicated to offering degrees and professional training qualifications, UCR will provide a state-of-the-art teaching facility in the heart of Rotherham, welcoming students for the first time this September.

Jana Checkley, Director of Higher Education and Skills for RNN Group said, “UCR has been a fantastic journey and as an organisation we are exceptionally proud to have worked with Willmott Dixon on such a beneficial project.

“The new university centre has been built to an extremely high standard and we look forward to moving in our state-of-the-art facilities, ready for UCR to open its doors this autumn to students of all ages and career aspirations.”

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said: “Access to outstanding education is crucial in ensuring everyone, regardless of their background, can fulfil their potential and realise their ambitions.

“I am delighted to see this important step for University Centre Rotherham, and very pleased that the Sheffield City Region was able to support the creation of the new centre with £3.5m of Local Growth Fund money.”

Cllr Chris Read, Leader of Rotherham Council and Chair of the Rotherham Together Partnership added, “Having UCR here in Rotherham is part of the town’s regeneration and forms a key part of our vision and masterplan to enhance where we live.

“As a Council we are also committed to ensuring all our young people have the best start in life, and what better way can we support this than by ensuring they are able to gain the skills and education they need right here in the borough.

“This university centre will help bridge the skills gap we have which is currently holding the town back. If young people can get better qualifications they would be able to get better jobs, progress their careers and increase their income which can only be a good thing for the town.”

University Centre Rotherham is dedicated to delivering degrees and professional training qualifications in the heart of Rotherham, offering a huge range courses in areas such as business enterprise, graphic design, performance, education, computing and media and photography. 


United Caps announces new factory to be constructed in Rotherham

posted 24 Jul 2018, 07:08 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 24 Jul 2018, 07:10 ]

United Caps, an international manufacturer of caps and closures, has announced it will be constructing a new manufacturing plant in Dinnington, Rotherham.

The initial facility will be 5,000 square meters, with an option to expand to 20,000 square meters as business growth demands.

Production is expected to begin at the end of 2019 and will initially focus on beverage and dairy closures, with options to add additional segments as needed. This project represents an estimated €20 million investment including the first phase of machinery and is expected to increase group turnover by 15% in phase one and will initially employ 20 staff.

“This expansion to the United Kingdom is in response to increasing demand there for our products,” said Benoit Henckes, CEO of United Caps. “We chose Rotherham because of its central location along the M1, available technical skilled people and the reasonable cost of land in that area. This will be our first plant in the United Kingdom, and we are looking forward to working closely with the Rotherham Council as the project proceeds.”

“We are excited to have a company of the quality of United Caps joining our community,” said Chris Read, Leader of Rotherham Council. “We look forward to working with them to ensure a timely completion of the new factory, as well as future expansions as their business needs dictate. The beginning of operations means 20 new jobs almost immediately, and the welcome news that we can be hopeful there will be many more jobs to come for dedicated local people in the future.”

United Caps conducted a number of market studies leading up to the selection of the Dinnington site. Henckes added, “Our studies reflected that demand was highest for beverage and dairy closures.

More specifically, we will focus on the production of plastic closures for flat and medium carbonated drinks as well as fruit juices and dairy products in PET bottles. Of course, our customers in the United Kingdom will have access to our full portfolio of caps and closures, as well as to the expert resources in our Messia R&D facility.”

Following the success of United Caps Irish plant in Greystones, plant director Paul Gorry will oversee the Rotherham plant as well. He has been Greystones’ plant director for eight years and was involved in the construction of the plant at Greystones and the transfer of the production lines to the new plant in Dinnington.

Cllr Read added: “This development is further confirmation of the attractive location that Rotherham has become for investors, with United Caps sitting alongside McLaren Automotive, Rolls-Royce and others.

"The Council and Local Rotherham Together Partnership are working to give businesses the confidence to invest in jobs, homes and developments within Rotherham and it’s resulting in Rotherham becoming one of the fastest growing local economies in the country.

"As the economy continues to grow we can look forward to seeing more local people in highly skilled and entrepreneurial jobs, and Rotherham becoming a quality place to live and work, with a strong transport, digital and environmental infrastructure.”

Bodycote open new heat treatment facility in Rotherham

posted 19 Jul 2018, 07:05 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 19 Jul 2018, 07:06 ]

Bodycote, the world’s largest provider of heat treatment and specialist thermal processing services, have announced the opening of a new 11,000 sq ft facility at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP), Rotherham. 

With more than 180 accredited facilities in 23 countries, Bodycote improves the properties of metals and alloys, extending the life of vital components for a wide range of industries, including aerospace, defence, automotive, power generation, oil & gas, construction, medical and transportation.

Simon Blantern, Vice President of Sales Europe for Bodycote’s Aerospace, Defence & Energy heat treatment division, said: “This investment demonstrates Bodycote’s continuing commitment to align resources to serve both the aerospace and power generation markets.”

The new facility, fully operational in 2018, will offer a number of heat treatment processes. 

ULMA Packaging Invest In New Rotherham HQ

posted 6 Jul 2018, 02:51 by RiDO Rotherham   [ updated 6 Jul 2018, 02:52 ]

ULMA Packaging Ltd., a leading packaging solutions company supplying the food, pharmaceutical and household goods sectors, has moved into new purpose-built facilities in Rotherham to cope with growth in demand.

Sales of ULMA’s packaging machinery have almost trebled in the past six years so investing in 2,000 sqmtrs of factory space, which includes a 400 sqmtr showroom, was necessary to keep pace with future requirements.

The new energy-efficient premises on Church Lane, Dinnington, are almost three times the size of ULMA’s previous headquarters. As a result, the building can hold significantly more stock and spare parts, ensuring quicker turnaround and wider availability for customers. The new facilities will also feature working machines for demonstration purposes, offering customers the opportunity to visit and trial different solutions when seeking to automate or modernise their production lines.

The organisation , which is part of the ULMA Group  - one of the world’s leading packaging machinery manufacturers - supplies  the UK market with a wide range of innovative solutions including thermoformers, flow pack, fill and seal, traysealing, blister pack, shrink wrapping and sleeve wrapping machines.

Looking ahead to the future, the company predicts further growth in the key automation side of the business, continuing its contribution to the Group’s ongoing success. Commenting on the move to Sheffield, UK Managing Director, Chris Pickles, said: “We have followed ULMA’s trend worldwide and continued to grow in the UK. In line with this global expansion, we now want to increase  our offering and promote ULMA equipment in the UK that has been successful in other areas of the world.”

He added: “Our new location and the ability to hold more spare parts on site will ensure we can deliver even speedier service support. We’ve always been totally focused on the overall customer experience and unrivalled service levels; we’re now in a much stronger position to ensure customers and prospects alike can see for themselves how our solutions might integrate with their own production line technology, to achieve the ultimate aim of improving productivity and boosting the bottom line.”

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