Digital Manufacturing Centre to add £9m to South East Midlands economy

Posted on 18 Sep 2019 by Jonny Williamson

A new Digital Manufacturing Centre at Silverstone Park is forecast to generate £9m additional economic value for the area.

Design vision of the new KWSP Digital Manufacturing Centre
Design vision of the new KWSP Digital Manufacturing Centre.

The project is led by high-performance engineering consultancy KW Special Projects (KWSP) who secured funding from the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) for the 1,657sqm facility.

The news about the Silverstone investment comes in the same week as new investment projects involving Siemens, the AMRC, the UKAEA, Dassault Systemes and the Univserities of Sheffield and Newcastle were announced.

The Digital Manufacturing Centre will act as a technology innovation hub, providing SME manufacturers on-site access to digital manufacturing facilities including a range of additive manufacturing technologies, while also allowing them to access knowledge and advice by encouraging an eco-system in digital manufacturing.

Technology start-ups focused on high performance engineering will also benefit from incubation and manufacturing space.

The innovation centre is expected to help develop new and high-value engineering opportunities for more than 100 SMEs, and is forecast to contribute £9m GVA to the region.

Kieron Salter, managing director, KW Special Projects (KWSP).
Kieron Salter, managing director, KW Special Projects (KWSP).

Kieron Salter, managing director of KWSP, commented: “Having grown from a motorsport background, it’s exciting to be able to help drive the latest technology projects across multiple industries, right here at Silverstone. Our goal is to create a hub of engineering innovation that sees the best and most creative minds working side by side to develop the technologies of tomorrow.”

KWSP’s core capabilities include lightweight structures & composites, powertrain integration, control systems & automation and full system integration, with clients across automotive and mobility, performance sport and manufacturing.

Levelling up the regions

The KWSP Digital Manufacturing Centre is just one of the recent initiatives announced by SEMLEP through its Local Industrial Strategy.

The facility will enhance the knowledge sharing capabilities of the Silverstone Technology area – encouraging the growth and commercialisation of innovation, while promoting high-tech development and high-value specialisms.

“Working with innovative businesses like KWSP to make their ideas become reality is exactly what the makes the SEMLEP area the successful place it is today,” Hilary Chipping, Chief Executive SEMLEP said.

About the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership

SEMLEP is a public-private partnership set up in 2011 to drive economic growth across the South East Midlands. Steered by a business-led Board, it works to build a stronger economy by tackling barriers to sustainable growth and supporting job creation for the future prosperity of communities across the South East Midlands.

It brings together the private sector, education providers and the public sector to steer investment and deliver projects to grow businesses, grow people and grow places.

SEMLEP is responsible for Local Growth Fund and other public monies to support growth projects; and support a portfolio of 35 Local Growth Fund projects, investing £265m, into projects that unlock growth potential of the area by increasing jobs, learner numbers, employment floorspace or homes.

About the Local Growth Fund

Local Enterprise Partnerships – of which there are 38 covering the whole of Englad – are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone.

The government has so far awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth, and by 2021, the government aims to have invested circa £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing the LEPs to use their local knowledge to invest in a wide range of projects including transport, skills, business support, broadband and innovation.