VIDEO | Designing for the future with Rochdale’s AMPI

The Advanced Machinery and Productivity Institute at Rochdale’s Kingsway Business Park will be a game-changer for the UK’s economy when it is built, stimulating the country’s advanced machinery sector to hit £4bn in export sales over the course of 10 years.

But how do you develop such a unique, future-focused building? We spoke with Fairhursts Design Group design director Alex Chanerley and Rochdale Development Agency head of innovation Neil Eccles to find out. You can watch the video of our discussion at the top of this article, or on Place North West’s YouTube channel.

FDG is crafting the AMPI vision for RDA and its partner the National Physical Laboratory. Skip to 1:46 in the video above to hear how FDG got involved.

Designing AMPI is no easy task. It’s a building without a specific end user. It needs to be highly flexible, with spaces able to pivot to meet the needs of whatever future group is working there.

While flexible, it also has to be specific – which has meant Chanerley and Eccles have spent a lot of time listening to those working in the advanced machinery sector to find out what their dream building is and how they can make that a reality. Tune into the video at around 3:55 to hear more about the design process.

There is a lot of pressure on AMPI as well. The scheme is a prominent part of Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham’s Atom Valley. This mayoral development zone is set to bolster GM’s economy by providing an outlet for the commercialisation of the great research being done in materials, manufacturing, and life sciences in the city region. Hear more about how AMPI fits into the Atom Valley vision at 5:55 in the video.

You can learn more about Fairhursts Design Group at

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The Atom valley is an exciting long term future forward project for the area. Andy Burnham doing well to keep this right up there on his agenda. This is one small part of it. I wonder is anyone looking at Battery technology and power storage too?

By Julian and Sandy

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