Henry Royce Institute

Work begins on Royce’s new hub building – the UK’s ‘meeting place’ for advanced materials

Construction work has begun on the hub building for the Henry Royce Institute, the national body promoting research and applications in advanced materials.

The new building, based at the heart of The University of Manchester’s campus, will provide a “meeting place” to help bring together world-leading academics from across the UK to work closely with industry to ensure commercialisation of fundamental research.

At 46-metres high, the building will be a prominent new landmark on the Manchester skyline – but will also provide a national beacon for applied research in advanced materials.

The exciting development will house state-of-the-art equipment and provide collaborative space for industrial engagement.

The hub will host ground-breaking research, including investigations into biomedical materials which are at the cutting edge of regenerative medicine and prosthetics; nuclear materials to support the energy sector; materials systems for demanding environments; and 2D materials which, for example, can be used in inks for printable electronics, enhanced composites, in fuel cells and super capacitators which outperform traditional batteries.

“This new flagship building will be a national beacon of research excellence in advanced materials – not only providing a centre for scientists and engineers to lead on cutting edge research but will also help businesses to apply this new knowledge into technologies for commercial use,” said Regius Professor Phil Withers, Chief Scientist for the Royce.

New Royce hub building

Importantly, he said, this hub facility will be a meeting place where colleagues can gather from across the UK and beyond to share their ideas and innovative thinking.

“This powerhouse development will also support the Government with its industrial strategy and help underpin innovation in the UK economy – regionally and nationally,” added Professor Phil Withers

The Henry Royce Institute is the national organisation based in Manchester that is leading on advanced materials research and applications. Founding partners include the universities of Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Leeds, Imperial College London, Oxford and Cambridge, plus the UK Atomic Energy Agency and the National Nuclear Laboratory.

The building is a key feature of The University of Manchester’s ten year Campus Masterplan to create world-class facilities in the region.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor at The University of Manchester, said: “Building upon Manchester’s already outstanding reputation for scientific research, the Royce will enable the UK to grow its world-leading research and innovation base in advanced materials science and technology. It is a great addition to our campus.”

The University of Manchester appointed Arcadis to lead the delivery of the £105 million building, which is being funded by the Government.

NBBJ, an international architectural practice, have worked with the civil and structural engineer Ramboll and the building services engineer Arup to create a world-class building design. This building will be delivered by Laing O’Rourke, the appointed main contractor. The Royce hub is expected to be completed and the building fully operational by early 2020.