Barnsley software company helping to build 'fastest car in the world'

7 March 2013








A Barnsley software company is helping to build the ‘fastest car in the world’ which will be driven in an attempt to smash the world land speed record later this year.

SolidCAM UK has devised essential computer technology to help manufacture precision parts for the BLOODHOUND SSC supersonic car which could ultimately reach a top speed of 1,000 mph.

The unique rocket and jet powered vehicle being developed here in the UK is due to attempt beating the world land speed record of 763mph in South Africa later this year, then be pushed to its limit in a bid to reach 1,000mph in 2014.

The team behind the Bloodhound Project turned to South Yorkshire’s ‘Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre’ led by the University of Sheffield, for expert support when developing the super car.  SolidCAM, one of the many UK companies associated with the research centre, has contributed its advanced computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software and expertise to the project.

Managing Director of SolidCAM UK Gordon Drysdale said: ““We’ve been delighted to contribute our unique software to the Bloodhound project and are pleased to have helped construct key components for the car’s framework.

“Our role in the project draws on our experience supplying software to high-end manufacturing industries such as motorsport, aerospace and medical instruments. Many of our customers use premium – and expensive - materials and demand absolute accuracy in production.

“The Bloodhound supersonic car needs nothing less - every specification must be 100 per cent perfect to pursue speeds up to 1,000 mph. We now follow its progress with enormous interest.”

This is not the first time SolidCAM, based at Dodworth’s Fall Bank Industrial Estate, has been involved in a high-profile project. It also provided software to construct NASA’s Mars rover, Curiosity, which is currently drilling the surface of Mars to extract scientific samples.

SolidCAM UK is part of a world-wide parent company, SolidCAM, and the Barnsley-based team supply software and support services to companies all over the UK, including the Royal Mint. Its software helps drive machine tools in a wide range of manufacturing processes.

SolidCAM UK is currently being supported by the Enterprising Barnsley business support organisation to manage a period of growth. Last year, the firm launched a new ‘add-on’ product for its software packages called ‘iMachining’. This innovation gives its software a ‘turbo-boost’ which enables machines to operate more quickly and have much less wear and tear on tools. iMachining enables customers to realise savings of up to 70 per cent on production costs. The new product has led to a massive increase in sales and an anticipated 20 per cent rise in turnover in this financial year.

Enterprising Barnsley Business Development Manager John Heckingbottom said: “SolidCAM UK has had an exciting few months since the launch of its new product and the resultant increase in turnover.

“The company’s involvement in the Bloodhound project gives it a further fillip – the Barnsley business community will watch the supersonic car’s progress with real interest.”

The Enterprising Barnsley programme is supported financially by the European Union. The project has attracted £2,259,511 investment into Barnsley from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.



Attached photograph shows Managing Director of SolidCAM UK Gordon Drysdale.

For further information, contact Gordon Drysdale on 01226 241744 or

SolidCAM UK is a Tier 2 member of the Rotherham-based ‘Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre’ (Nuclear AMRC), which is led by the University of Sheffield. Other members include Rolls Royce and Boeing. The Nuclear AMRC carries out research to improve capabilities across the UK nuclear, engineering and manufacturing industries.

The international BLOODHOUND SSC project is headed up by former land speed record holder, Richard Noble MBE and current holder Andy Green, who became the first driver to break the sound barrier when he reached his top speed of 763mph in 1997. Bloodhound is an educational initiative designed to inspire school children studying the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Photograph of the car are available to the media via

The Enterprising Barnsley programme is part financed by the Yorkshire and Humber European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the European Regional Development Fund Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit

For more information about Enterprising Barnsley go to or contact Martin Beasley on 01226 772648 or at

Additional media contact: Steph Pollard on 01226 766900 or 0776 196 4492 or at or

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