Smart, sustainable & inclusive growth

The Libralato engine is one of the technologies being developed by the Proving Factory, led by Productiv Ltd. and Tata Steel. Libralato's technical partners include AIE (rotary engine specialist), EDL Judd (race engines), RDM Group (power electronics), Newcastle University (48V Switched Reluctance Motor). Libralato aims for series production of the engine to start in 2022.

The Proving Factory Model

Fig 1. The Proving Factory Model

The Proving Factory is an initiative supported by the UK government to develop medium scale manufacturing of low carbon vehicle technologies developed by SMEs.The Proving Factory is accredited to ISO/TS16949, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 with an approved supplier network of over 50 companies.

REVIVING THE LEGACY OF ROLLS ROYCE IN MANCHESTER

Libralato plans to transfer assembly facilities for the Libralato engine back to Manchester in 2024, reviving the legacy of Rolls Royce in its birthplace in Hulme.

Rolls Royce Centenary in Hulme 2004

Fig 6. Rolls Royce Centenary in Hulme 2004

Libralato aims to revive the legacy of Rolls Royce in its deprived inner city birthplace. Famously, Rolls met Royce in Manchester’s Midland Hotel and Hulme was the site of the first Rolls Royce Factory in 1904. Manchester was the crucible of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century and Libralato aims to be at the forefront of the Northern Powerhouse and Bessemer Society initiatives, re-inventing Manchester as a world class sustainable manufacturing hub for the 21st century. Consistent with industry productivity rates, Libralato projects the creation of 1,875 jobs in Manchester from the production of 750k engines pa by 2050 (5% of European production). Automotive industry multiplier effects of x7 for vehicle production and x4 for engine production indicate a further 7,500 indirect jobs creation.

Physically, Hulme has been almost completely demolished twice during the 20th Century, firstly through 19th century ‘slum’ clearance and bombing during World War II and secondly through the replacement of disastrous 1960s deck access flats. By the 1980s Hulme was synonymous with the term ‘concrete jungle’; a failed 1960s monolithic Council estate with no jobs and no hope; a ‘no-go zone’ for the police, let alone any visitors. It has taken 25 years to bring Hulme back to a sense of normality. Although the physical environment of Hulme has improved beyond all recognition, in fact relatively little has been done to help local people to improve their economic prospects.

Fig 7. Rolls Royce Centenary Stone in new Hulme Park

The Hulme City Challenge redevelopment which started in 1992, has only been more or less completed by the construction of the Manchester Metropolitan University Birley campus, finished in 2015 (£130m). The Hulme community has suffered an insane amount of disruption and social isolation within the lifetime of some of its oldest residents. Now, finally, Hulme can take its place again as a re-integrated and vibrant neighbourhood of Manchester.

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