Sheffield Forgemasters pushes ahead with major recapitalisation project

by Anna

Sheffield Forgemasters has reached a significant milestone in its expansive recapitalisation programme, with ongoing piling works for the foundation and base of a new 13,800-square-metre building. This facility will house a state-of-the-art 13,000-tonne heavy forging press, along with furnaces, quenching pits, and cranes, designed to enhance the company’s production capabilities in support of the UK’s defence programmes.

The construction of the Forge building is being carried out in partnership with Vinci Building, which secured a £138 million contract for the project. Craig Fisher, Recapitalisation and Transformation Director at Sheffield Forgemasters, highlighted the importance of this development phase. “We are now at a notable milestone in our Forge project, with the site fully cleared and processed so that piling works can proceed. This moves the project into its next phase, which is where the pace of delivery ramps up,” he said.


Over the past seven months, extensive demolition and remediation efforts have prepared the site for construction. These efforts included the removal of internal steel structures, ground stabilisation, contaminant removal, processing over 25,000 cubic metres of spoil, and crushing 4,500 cubic metres of old concrete.


Chris Winspear from Vinci Building expressed satisfaction with the progress: “We are delighted that we have now completed the demolition and prepared the first areas of site ready to receive the substructure works for the new building. We are looking forward to the next phase of the project working in collaboration with our supply chain partner, Cementation Skanska, appointed to undertake piling and ground engineering package of works.”


Cementation Skanska, a piling specialist, is constructing a 200-metre-long secant pile wall for the new forge, with a depth of eight to ten metres. The project will require a total of 1,500 piles.


The new forging line is expected to be operational by the summer of 2027 and will be complemented by a state-of-the-art machining facility currently in the planning stages. This facility will feature multiple versions of the world’s most advanced five-axis vertical turning lathes, creating an unparalleled manufacturing environment.

Craig Fisher elaborated on the project’s scope: “The scope of what we are undertaking at Sheffield Forgemasters is unmatched since the Victorian era, with facilities which will work to create a new standard of large-scale engineering accuracy, innovation and speed for complex, nuclear-grade components. An uplift in defence contracts has meant that we need the capacity of our facilities to be able to match increased throughput.”

The forging line and proposed machining shop will support both defence and commercial sectors, including civil nuclear power. The initiative aims to foster a new generation of engineers and designers adept in Industry 4.0 technologies.

Supporting partners for the Sheffield Forgemasters project include Turner & Townsend and Tetra-Tech, ensuring comprehensive project management and technical expertise throughout the development process.

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