in Aerospace / Defence

Boeing Sheffield factory celebrates fifth anniversary

Posted 26 October 2023

Boeing is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its Sheffield-based site, the company’s first European manufacturing facility.

Image courtesy Boeing

Over the past five years, Boeing Sheffield has shipped more than 21,000 UK-made parts supporting the production of the 737 aeroplane.

The 6,200 square metre facility represents an investment of £40 million and continues to play a pivotal role in Boeing's global advanced manufacturing ecosystem.

Employees at the South Yorkshire site use advanced manufacturing techniques to make the trailing edge actuator components for the 737 family, including the P-8 Poseidon and the E-7 Wedgetail aircraft. Actuator components help control wing flaps during take-off and landing.

Since opening in October 2018, Boeing Sheffield has:

  • Created more than 100 jobs that contribute to the region's economic growth and employment opportunities.
  • Partnered with more than 30 direct and indirect suppliers within 100 miles of the factory, fostering a robust regional supply chain network.
  • Trained more than 30 machining apprentices in partnership with the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre and employs most of them today.
  • Accelerated local investment in South Yorkshire, including a recent joint industry and UK Government investment of £80m to explore advanced manufacturing technologies in the region.

“As we celebrate reaching this milestone we are reminded of the incredible journey we have undertaken together with our partners and the local community. I would particularly like to thank our fantastic Boeing Sheffield team for everything they’ve achieved,” said Maria Laine, president of Boeing in the UK, Ireland and the Nordics. “The enduring relationships we've built in the local area have been integral to our ability to deliver world-class products to our customers worldwide."

Boeing's long-standing history in Sheffield began in 2001, as a co-founder of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC). This research and innovation hub was a pivotal factor in choosing Sheffield as the location for Boeing’s first European manufacturing site. The AMRC now supports 520 jobs and contributes over £55 million annually to the South Yorkshire economy.

“Boeing has been a crucial part of the AMRC since the beginning and as our founding partner is forever woven into the AMRC’s story of success”, said Steve Foxley, CEO of the University of Sheffield AMRC. “Their trust in us to help them innovate, create improved step changes to their assembly line, save time and money, alongside building up its skills offer to create engineers of the future through the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre, has been a privilege and a pleasure.

“Together, our partnership has spanned more than 20 years and we are proud to have played a key role in the decision for Boeing to build its only European facility here in Sheffield five years ago.”

Earlier this year, Boeing announced an £80 million joint investment in advanced manufacturing in South Yorkshire, concentrating on composites at speed and scale (COMPASS), in collaboration with the AMRC, Loop Technology and Spirit AeroSystems, creating jobs and advancing production capabilities.

South Yorkshire also plays a key role in Boeing’s commitment to drive forward sustainable aviation. In 2022, Boeing became the founding member of the University of Sheffield’s Energy Innovation Centre (EIC), leading the way for the company to help develop and bring sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) to market.

Boeing’s Sheffield-based Research and Technology (BR&T) team also works closely with the local supply chain and academia, including research on advanced technologies such as additive manufacturing, with the goal of increasing efficiency and fostering innovation throughout the aerospace supply chain.

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