A NEW £25million advanced manufacturing research centre is set to be built in East Lancashire after the go-ahead was given by planners.

Work can now begin on the Samlesbury Enterprise Zone initiative, which is being pulled together by the University of Sheffield.

Blueprints for the 4,500 square metre AMRC complex, backed by Lancashire Enterprise Partnership growth deal funding include facilities which will focus on vehicle electrification, battery assembly and light-weighting technologies.

The overall scheme - because of its location - had to receive approvals from both Ribble Valley and South Ribble councils.

Extra funding came via the European Structural Investment Fund and High Value Manufacturing Catapult scheme, to the tune of £1.6million apiece.

The idea is that the AMRC's research and development functions will work closely with existing manufacturing companies and their supply chains.

Melissa Conlon, the project's commercial director, said: "Our mission is to ensure that Lancashire and the North becomes the engine room of the fourth industrial revolution."

Steve Fogg, chairman of the Lancashire LEP, said: "We have worked hard to attract the AMRC to the Samlesbury Aerospace enterprise zone and backed it with £20m of Lancashire Growth Deal Funding.

"The AMRC will play a key role in helping the county’s aerospace and advanced manufacturing sectors to maintain their leading position in the UK."

Until now the centre has been based at premises provided by the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and has worked with 65 small and medium-sized firms.

The new building will also play a role in developing innovations in machine tooling, additive, hybrid manufacturing, automated assembly, robotics and autonomous manufacturing processes.