Tatton and MMU to combine on 3D printing hub

A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed by Tatton Estates Management and Manchester Metropolitan University at MIPIM for the development of the Cheshire 3D Print Hub.

To be developed between Altrincham and Knutsford at the Yarwood Heath Farm site, the £6m facility will comprise 40,000 sq ft of space using existing buildings and will be accessed directly from junction 7 of the M56 and the new Knutsford-Bowdon A556 dual carriageway.

C3D will enable the implementation of advanced digital technologies in design, manufacture and service support and will also provide grow-on incubation space for businesses in the region’s industrial digital technologies market. It is intended to supplement MMU’s existing central Manchester PrintCity facilities, while the site has room for manufacturing and logistics space.

Henry Brooks, Tatton Estates Management’s managing director, said: “C3D is a very exciting prospect, regionally, nationally and internationally. It will help contribute to the global imperative for the UK and the North West to increase manufacturing, to create wealth, jobs and social cohesion.

“It will also become an integral part of Cheshire’s international corridor of science and innovation which has some of the most significant science-based assets in the north of England, some of which are of global importance.”

The agreement will be signed at an event on the Cheshire & Warrington exhibition stand at MIPIM tomorrow morning.

Assets within the Cheshire Science Corridor, which has Enterprise Zone status, currently include Capenhurst Technology Park, Thornton Science Park, Sci-Tech Daresbury, Birchwood Park’s nuclear and forensics clusters and Alderley Park, along with Jodrell Bank and the Square Kilometre Array, the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the world.

Tatton Estate will support other science and technology businesses to occupy parts of the Yarwood Heath Farm site to create critical mass and foster industry collaboration, in line with the opportunities presented with Industry 4.0 whilst supporting jobs and growth within the local economy.

Prof. Craig Banks, personal chair in Electrochemical and Nanotechnology at MMU and Faculty of Science & Engineering lead for research and knowledge exchange, said: “The long-term ambition of the project is to create an open and inclusive science and technology hub. It will enhance our research and innovation infrastructure and capacities to develop excellence and promote business investment, including for SMEs.

“The collaboration between Tatton Estate and Manchester Met will also form academic partnerships, using research knowledge to drive commercial growth. SMEs will be supported by postgraduate research projects, with senior academic expertise and could take ideas from concept through to commercialisation.

“As ideas develop, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships could be exploited to accelerate suitable projects as a route to commercialisation.”

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This is a terrible location for a University Asset. It’s in the middle of nowhere and has absolutely no public transport provision. At only 40k Square ft I am sure Man Met could have found a more suitable space in Manchester. It strikes me as a cynical attempt to make a start on development in the area to unlock the site that Tatton Estate failed to get allocated in the Cheshire East Local Plan.

By Knutsford

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