Scotland Performs Update

Scottish Government performance information

National Outcome: We live in a Scotland that is the most attractive place for doing business in Europe

The Advanced Forming Research Centre ( AFRC) New Forging Capability


  • This project will create a new forging capability – the High Integrity Validated Engineering Space ( HIVES). The investment will effectively complete the range of forging capabilities at AFRC. The facility will be known as ‘Future Forge’.
  • The resulting cluster of capabilities will be housed in the phase 3 extension to the AFRC and will be globally unique. This will underpin and expand AFRC’s position as the leading forging and forming research centre in the UK and give Scotland a unique global research capability with industry focus at its centre, further strengthening the contribution that AFRC makes to the delivery of Scotland’s Manufacturing Action Plan.


  • The total project costs are £13.442m (excl VAT).
  • This is funded by:
    • The Aerospace Technology Institute ( ATI): £6.595m
    • Scottish Enterprise: £2.573m (capital funding £2.523m plus prior Development funding
    • £50k)
    • University of Strathclyde: £1.801m
    • AFRC via Innovate UK HVM Catapult funds £2.523m.


  • The proposed deliverables are:
    • Expansion of the AFRC facility at Inchinnan to fully develop the facility into new 30,000 sq ft ‘phase 3’
    • £13.442m investment over a three year period, including £6.6m from Innovate UK
    • From the operation of the facility, delivery of £37m gross additional expenditure on research and development over a 10 year period
      • Of this, delivery of at least £13m of new non-aerospace sector projects over 10 years
    • 34 full time equivalent jobs supported over 10 years; of which 12 will be high value posts and five will be apprenticeships.
  • There will be a focus on identifying specific Scottish opportunities for the use of the facility and in the exploitation of outcomes with a programme of activities to engage with Scottish businesses in target sectors and with supply chain companies linked to AFRC members.
  • The project site works commenced in Autumn 2017 and the operation will commence in Spring 2020.

Key partners

  • Scottish Enterprise partners in funding and delivering the project are:
    • Innovate UK ( ATI funding)
    • University of Strathclyde
    • The AFRC.


  • AFRC development of the project was supported by an advisory board formed to support the project comprising key industry players and AFRC tier I member companies. This advisory board will also support the development of customer engagement and supply chain development activities which will support the pipeline of projects using the facility.
  • AFRC applied directly to ATI (Innovate UK) for funding and approached Scottish Enterprise to support the balance of funding. Scottish Enterprise supported the retention of specialist consultancy to allow AFRC to develop a fully costed business plan and identify the optimum funding and delivery mix to ensure the project met its stated objectives.
  • The support of the University of Strathclyde as a co-funder and AFRC, via its catapult funding, has been crucial to delivering an affordable solution.

Contribution to National Outcomes

  • The HIVES project is integral to the delivery of the Scottish Manufacturing Action Plan and positioning Scotland as a world leader in advanced manufacturing research and innovation.
  • The AFRC, as part of the University of Strathclyde, is a signatory to the Scottish Business Pledge. A range of inclusive growth commitments have been identified for the HIVES project including commitments to fair work and local sourcing which will apply to suppliers as well as to the AFRC itself.
  • The project contributes to the youth employment agenda through expansion of AFRC apprenticeship support.

The project contributes towards other National Outcomes, such as:

  • We realise our full economic potential with more and better employment opportunities for our people.
  • We are better educated, more skilled and more successful, renowned for our research and innovation.


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