2022 celebrated the end of the hugely successful Single Local Growth Fund programme. LEP projects and programmes have delivered economic growth now for over a decade.  In that time, we have secured £400m of investment for projects in Greater Lincolnshire and have delivered 75 growth projects and programmes.  

Together with our many local partners we have made great progress in raising the aspiration and profile of our collective economic ambitions for our diverse, resilient, and remarkable location. Our congratulations and thanks are extended to everyone involved in these varied and challenging projects and programmes, who in partnership with the LEP, are delivering considerable economic impact across our area. 

The Bridge (Advanced Manufacturing R&D Centre) is a centre for innovation in advanced materials that works with local and national businesses to provide education, cutting edge engineering and collaboration. The Bridge works alongside the University of Lincoln to create a network of advanced engineering professionals that can work on solving problems through innovation. 

The LEP contributed £1.94 million to the creation of the Bridge through the Single Local Growth Fund allocation. 

The scheme involved the construction of a two-floor innovation facility of 788m², located alongside the Science and Innovation Park at the University of Lincoln. The new building houses purpose-built conference, meeting and networking rooms as well as multiple laboratories, a training suite and an innovation lounge. 

Since it was opened in October 2022, The Bridge has already completed 70 projects with another 14 ongoing and has so far built a consortium of eight members. 

Ian Scowen, director of the project at the University of Lincoln, said: “In its first few months, The Bridge has already had a huge impact on the university, transforming our R&D resources with microscopy and surface science capabilities unique to the region. This has allowed us to reshape our approach to supporting Greater Lincolnshire businesses, engaging academics and business professionals alike.  

“In my mind, however, the most exciting aspect of The Bridge is to facilitate business interactions across the region and help us build an innovation-led community, exchanging ideas around cutting-edge development in engineering materials science. Our growing consortium of partners is providing huge support for us to journey to an exciting future together.” 

This project aims to catalyse growth and productivity in advanced materials in Greater Lincolnshire, promoting research, innovation and collaboration in several key sectors promoted by the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, including metals manufacturing, power generation and storage, and electronic devices. 

One local business that has benefited from collaboration with The Bridge is CONSTRUCT3D, manufacturers of the UK’s fastest 3D printers. The Bridge helped organise a demonstration for university academics who wanted to learn more about additive manufacturing and the printers. 

Therese Lord from CONSTRUCT3D said: “Following the demonstration we have had a couple of interested academics who want to work with our company to advance scientific research.” 

Another way The Bridge can support Greater Lincolnshire businesses is by using its resources to run investigations and provide reports on products, offering advice and solutions. A successful project of this nature involved The Bridge investigating a corrosion failure in a medical device for HH Innovations.  

Business Development Director at HH Innovations Fergus Christie said: “Using a variety of analytical tools, the team at The Bridge helped us identify a corrosion failure in a medical device for our client. They carried out a thorough investigation quickly, which was great as this was a time-sensitive matter. 

“The report we received from The Bridge allowed us to recommend a corrective action process for our client and then issue a fixed product as quickly as possible.” 

HH Innovations is also planning future collaborations with The Bridge, wherein it will provide mechanical designs and The Bridge will provide the technology and teaching to bring these projects to life.  

You can find more information about The Bridge and its capabilities here. For more information about the Greater Lincolnshire LEP’s Single Local Growth Fund projects, click here.