It’s always a dangerous business to compare cities with regards to infrastructure, investment or new developments but we haven’t done bad in 2018 have we?

The end of the calendar year is an appropriate time to have a look back on what’s been achieved, however it’s worth noting that events don’t happen in a vacuum and while it’s worth celebrating projects like the arrival of Tram Train to the area you can’t ignore that it arrived several years late and over budget.

Many other developments have also dragged on for what seems like decades, and in the case of the retail quarter in Sheffield city centre this is probably true, but there are at last signs that work is well underway with buildings springing up everywhere you look.

However, let’s be positive and celebrate what has been achieved.

You can see much of what has happened just by driving up and down the Parkway regularly. A further point which I may come back to one day is the glacial pace of traffic on this road due to congestion, but I’ll leave that for another column…

The Boeing factory on the Advanced Manufacturing Park on the Sheffield/Rotherham border, the company’s first manufacturing site in Europe, will make actuation system components for their 737 and 767 jets from raw materials sourced in the UK.

At full capacity, Boeing Sheffield will produce thousands of parts each month, which will be shipped for assembly in Boeing’s Portland plant in Oregon, United States.

On the other side of the road the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge recently opened the McLaren composites technology centre. The facility will build McLaren’s lightweight carbon fibre chassis for its new road models from 2020, creating more than 200 jobs and providing an estimated £100 million of GVA (gross value added) benefit to the local economy by 2028.

A little closer to the city centre we saw the ‘Chinatown’ development move a step closer to completion with the opening of New Era Square.

There have been many other schemes coming to fruition but one that was particularly pleasing was when the Prince of Wales was in Rotherham in February to fire up the giant ‘N-Furnace’ at Liberty Speciality Steels.

Let’s see what 2019 brings.


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