University of Sheffield AMRC North West 

Cartwright Pickard worked collaboratively with Robertson and our supply chain throughout the project to provide a high-quality building for the University of Sheffield. The project was delivered through a global pandemic, which Cartwright Pickard adapted to and still provided a great service. It’s been a pleasure.

Dave Watson, Senior Project Manager, Robertson

Client  University of Sheffield
Location  Samlesbury, Lancashire
Completion  2021
Cost  £20m


  • RIBA stages 1-6
  • Architectural design


  • RICS Award - Best Commercial Development in the North West
  • Construction News Awards - Project of the Year (shortlisted)
  • Lancashire Project of the Year - North West Construction Awards
We worked together with Robertson and the University of Sheffield to design a state-of-the-art, 48,000sqft facility in Samlesbury, Lancashire for the University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. The development combines modern office workspace with a flexible high-tech workshop facility at the gateway to the new Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone.


Internally, we have expressed the structural steel frame as part of the celebration of engineering and technology within the building. A triple-height atrium creates a focal point, where occupants can interact and exchange ideas. This ‘social heart’ space overlooks the workshop, where these ideas will inform innovative research into new manufacturing processes, with a focus on key sustainable industries such as vehicle electrification.

Being a flagship research centre for advanced manufacturing meant it was essential that the building met the highest environmental standards. To achieve this, we incorporated energy saving measures early in the design process and used them to shape the building. Cooling loads are kept low with solar shading incorporated into the elevation design. We also had to accommodate scope for future adaptation so the AMRC could serve as a ‘Low Carbon Smart Factory Demonstrator’.

Flexibility was at the core of our design approach. The working spaces can be easily reconfigured as classrooms, seminar rooms or office space with moveable partitions. The workshop space offers varying zones which can be adapted for different research and manufacturing tasks, accommodated through both the architectural and services design. This all enables the building to evolve with the changing demands of the future.

The building marks the gateway to the new Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone and is a flagship for the development, setting the standard for the architectural quality of the Enterprise Zone.

University of Sheffield AMRC North West