Industry Tours

Coaches will depart from Cambridge on the morning of Friday 22nd September and head off around the country for one of our bespoke tour days. At the end of the day visitors will have the option of a drop-off at a major station with good connections to London, or are welcome to return to Cambridge to continue their onward journey.

Preferences for visits should be given as part of the conference registration process.


Britain's second city, Birmingham has a rich heritage in metal forming and manufacturing, including companies involved in global aerospace and automotive supply chains. Visits will take in both present-day industry and heritage stops in this manufacturing region.


With a schedule of visits relating to transport and manufacturing, Coventry and Warwickshire is a region rich in culture and heritage, steeped in history and conveniently located at the very heart of England. Visitors on this trip will tour the impressive Manufacturing Technology Centre which is working to develop cutting-edge manufacturing technologies and processes, including for instance metal spinning, as well as learning about the local transport industry heritage.


Known as the Steel City, Sheffield in South Yorkshire has historically been at the heart of the UK's metal forming industries and many innovations were developed locally, including crucible and stainless steel. Visits to the city will include several of the famous companies in the region, with global reach. Sheffield Forgemasters is home to impressive forging and casting capabilities, giving visitors the opportunity to view the processes behind production of some of the world's largest steel components for for nuclear, oil & gas, power generation, and engineering industries. Some visitors will also learn about the historical significance of the area by visiting Wortley Top Forge, the oldest surviving heavy iron forge in the world, whose history extends back to 1640. Other delegates travelling to the area will visit DavyMarkham, hosts of one of Europe's largest and most impressive engineering workshops, capable of designing and manufacturing very large equipment for quarrying, metal processing, mining and tunneling, nuclear and defence and infrastructure sectors, which included for instance working on Tunnel Boring Machines for the Channel Tunnel. The company is the one of the UK leaders in the design and manufacture of high level and intermediate level nuclear waste packages. In addition, some delegates will have the opportunity to visit Gripple, an award winning manufacturer of wire joining tensioning devices with innovation, sustainability and employee ownership at its core.


Next to the beautiful Peak District, Derby lies at the geographic heart of the UK and is a centre for advanced manufacturing. Visits are set to include a host of iconic names including Rolls-Royce, JCB and Smith of Derby. Rolls-Royce visitors will have the opportunity to visit the technology exhibition to learn about the latest technologies used in their jet engines worldwide, as well as the heritage centre which hosts an impressive collection of the engines manufactured throughout the history of Rolls-Royce. Meanwhile, visitors to JCB will experience the manufacturing process behind the world-famous yellow diggers and excavators, from the delivery of sheet metal through to the final product. Some visitors will also have the opportunity to visit Smith of Derby who have designed, manufactured and installed some of the world's most famous clocks since 1856. There have included clocks for St Paul's Cathedral in London, the Majlis Clocktower in Oman, and Shanghai's Customs House.


Overlooked by the architecturally spectacular Lincoln Cathedral, once the tallest building in the world, tours are set to include manufacturers such as Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery, specialising in the production of industrial gas turbine for global markets and Bifrangi UK, a world leader in closed die forging of components such as crankshafts for transport, agricultural and power generation sectors.


In addition to playing a significant role in the industrial revolution, Leeds is home to one of the country's most impressive collections of armour, the Royal Armouries. This tour will be taking in leading industry in the region today, as well as providing an exciting opportunity to visit the Armouries to learn about the rich history of metal forming in producing arms and armour from around the world.

Other visitors will have the opportunity to visit British Steel in Scunthorpe, who host one of Europe's most impressive steelworks. Visitors will have the exciting opportunity to view the whole steel-making process, from the sinter plant and blast furnace through to casting and final rolling of steel products such as rail sections and wire rod. British Steel supplies products to numerous sectors including rail, automotive, construction and energy industries.


Taking in the exciting local innovation, the Cambridge visit is set to include The Welding Institute, a local pioneer in joining technologies including friction stir welding and friction spot joining, in addition to significant materials testing and surface coating capabilities, with applications across aerospace, automotive and energy sectors.



  • Tours are subject to change without notice.
  • Places will be allocated based on preferences and availability of places on each tour. It may not always be possible to meet you preferences and there is no guarantee of a tour.
  • Once the total number of tour places have been filled, additional applicants will be placed on a waiting list.
  • Photography will be restricted on tours.
  • Suitable clothing must be worn, including closed toe shoes, and appropriate long sleeves and trousers.