Supercar developer to create Yorkshire factory

The McLaren factory will go on the former Sheffield City AirportThe McLaren factory will go on the former Sheffield City Airport
The McLaren factory will go on the former Sheffield City Airport
BUSINESS AND council leaders in South Yorkshire have welcomed supercar company McLaren's decision to build a new factory in the area and create 200 jobs.

The firm will move research and production of its carbon fibre road car chassis to a site on the former Sheffield City Airport runway.

McLaren, based in Woking, Surrey, is best known for its Formula One team with the group also including McLaren Automotive which builds high performance road cars.

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The move by such a famous brand was welcomed as an endorsement of the area’s economic ambitions.

Sir Steve Houghton, chairman of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority and leader of Barnsley Council, said: “This latest investment has been the result of months of hard work and a really strong public-private partnership approach to working together for the good of the region.

“I am confident that we’ll be able to continue to attract more firms to locate here in the Sheffield City Region.

“Companies like McLaren don’t want to be anywhere else at the moment, and it is great to see.”

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The company will establish its first purpose-built factory outside of its McLaren campus in Austria, bringing to the UK work currently being carried out overseas.

The new Composites Technology Centre will create more than 200 jobs through a combined investment of nearly £50m – which includes £14m of taxpayers’ money from the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

LEP chairman Sir Nigel Knowles said: “This is fantastic news for the Sheffield City Region, and proof that our research and manufacturing capabilities are up there with the best in the world.

“As McLaren themselves have made clear, the chance to be part of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) was compelling, not least because of the opportunity to access some of the world’s finest composites and materials research capabilities.

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“The announcement is the culmination of a tremendous amount of partnership working across the public and private sectors and shows that our super-connected city region is a place that lives up to its enviable reputation as straightforward, practical and business focused.

“The LEP and Combined Authority have provided, and will continue to provide, considerable support to ensure this investment will flourish.

“McLaren will be in good company on the AMID, alongside Rolls Royce, Boeing and others. I expect this to be just the start of the good news for the city region.”

McLaren Automotive and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre will deliver a two-year research and development programme which will lead to the development of a production facility to build chassis for its new models, from 2020.

It is hoped the investment will pump more than £100m into the local economy over the next 10 years.