National Composites Centre in Bristol to expand

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A carbon fibre research centre in Bristol has been given planning permission to double in size.

The National Composites Centre (NCC) opened at Bristol and Bath Science Park in November 2011.

Chancellor George Osborne announced £28m of government funding to enhance the capabilities of the NCC in December which paved the way for the expansion.

The plans will make it one of the largest research and technology centres of its type in the world.

Permission was granted by South Gloucestershire Council.

Composite is the most common form is carbon fibre and is gradually replacing steel and aluminium in industry.

'Enhance capability'

The centre said the expansion would allow for more training and skills development, and provide a dedicated high rate composite manufacturing facility.

Business development director Tom Hitchings said: "The NCC is a huge success story and the Phase II extension will increase and enhance our capability for industrialisation of research projects.

"The plans include a specialist composite hydraulic press focussed on enabling the UK automotive industry to automate their composites processes.

"Also, there will be a wider range of facilities with bookable workshop areas as well as space for skills training and an industrial doctorate centre."

Phase II is expected to be operational by the second quarter of 2014.

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