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First look inside the Henry Royce Institute Hub Building

05 Jun 2020

The fit-out of the Henry Royce Institute Hub Building on campus at The University of Manchester continues to progress however there have been delays to the original occupation schedule

the henry royce building

The fit-out of the Henry Royce Institute Hub Building on campus at The University of Manchester continues to progress throughout the University closure due to COVID-19. Due to a reduced workforce there have, however, been delays to the original occupation schedule.

The 9 floor Royce Hub Building will be the home of the national institute for advanced materials, including over 400 research staff alongside £45 million worth of new equipment for biomedical materials, metals processing, digital fabrication, and sustainable materials research, alongside collaborative space for industry engagement. The space will also house a number existing facilities moving from North Campus.

The building and cutting-edge equipment which total a £150 million investment, form part of the wider £235m investment by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) across the Royce’s national multi-site partnership.

Commenting on his long-held vision for the Royce Hub Building, Regius Professor of Materials and Royce Chief Scientist Philip Withers said:

“The new Royce Hub Building will act as a centre of scientific excellence for advanced materials and a meeting place for the national community. By bringing together the UK’s academic and industrial materials leaders, Royce will identify new opportunities, workshop ideas, and develop new strategies and approaches to tomorrow’s materials demands. ”

“It will also link up closely with other activities and initiatives in Manchester to create one of the most active and best equipped advanced materials capabilities in Europe providing access to world class experimental facilities and expertise to all on Campus”

Construction Developments

Following the construction phase, the state-of-the-art Hub Building was handed over by the contractors Laing O’Rourke in March 2020 and the first operational staff were just hours away from moving in before the University closure was initiated following government guidance.

However, progress in the Royce Hub Building still continues at pace as the first pieces of equipment have been delivered including the 2 Photon Polymerisation System for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative medicine. The sPro 60 HD-HS-3D printer for research into prosthetics and other medical devices also made it safely to its new home in the building.

Contractors are continuing the fit-out to minimise disruption for when equipment and research groups can move in following the University’s phased reopening of campus.

The equipment ‘hook-up’ rolled out over the 9 floors will include labs for Advanced Metals Processing on floors 0 and 1 and Biomedical Materials research facilities situated on floors 3 and 4. The Basement and floor 7 will focus on Materials Systems for Demanding Environments.

The completed fit-out of the first labs is expected later this year. The Royce technical team are working with research groups to agree a new programme for their moves in light of the changes due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and closure of facilities.

Royce Successes

Royce has successfully secured funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to establish a Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub (SMIH) to be situated on floor 6 of the Hub Building.

Led by Prof Michael Shaver (Prof of Polymer Science and leading on sustainable materials research for Royce), the SMIH will support businesses from across Greater Manchester to revolutionise their use of plastics and lower carbon emissions. The fit-out of floor 6 will begin in Autumn 2020 with Prof Shaver and the research group moving in following completion.

Royce Hub Building Official Opening

As the ongoing global pandemic continues to impact University operations, Royce has made the decision to postpone a formal opening of the building until Spring 2021. Other Royce facilities across the UK due to open in 2020 are also reviewing their timelines and adjusting planned building openings accordingly.

Further information

For any queries regarding the Royce Hub Building please contact the Project Officer Julia Lawson  (

To find out more about the Henry Royce Institute visit or sign up to the mailing list to receive updates on news, events and funding opportunities.