McLaren handed keys to new factory in South Yorkshire

Supercar manufacturer McLaren has been handed the keys to its £50m building on the Advanced Manufacturing Park.

Thursday, 31st May 2018, 10:18 am
Updated Thursday, 31st May 2018, 10:42 am
Ceremony inside the McLaren Composites Technology Centre.

The facility will make carbon fibre parts for its cars. It is due to open in November following an extensive fit out.

About 200 jobs are expected to be created and the firm estimates it will pump £100m into the region’s economy over the first 10 years.

McLaren 720s

Mike Flewitt, chief executive of McLaren Automotive, told The Star in March: “The region is where we will innovate and manufacture the lightweight carbon fibre chassis that are at the heart of all McLaren’s cars.

“Our decision to choose Rotherham and the Sheffield region means we can readily tap into the area’s proud association of working with advanced materials, the academic institutions and a skilled, dedicated workforce.

“The £50m investment will mean up to 200 new jobs as well as a significant boost to the local supply chain.”

The project received £12m from the taxpayer via the Sheffield City Region organisation.

Construction was by Sheffield firm Finnegan, which is also building a factory for Boeing nearby.

Read The Star’s celebration of Rotherham’s booming economy in our special supplement

The McLaren Composites Technology Centre will make the carbon fibre ‘tubs’ that are at the skeleton of its cars. They will then be sent to the McLaren Production Centre in Surrey where vehicles have been hand-assembled since 2011.

Ruth Nic Aoidh, McLaren’s executive director, commercial and legal, received the ‘key’ to the building from Owen Michaelson, chief executive of Harworth Group plc which owns the Advanced Manufacturing Park.

The MCTC will be home to McLaren’s second production facility and the first outside its native Woking. Around 45 employees are already housed at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, developing the process for creating tubs and when fully operational, the team will grow to around 200 people.

Carbon fibre has long been a part of McLaren’s DNA, the company introduced the first carbon fibre chassis into Formula 1 in 1981.

Also on hand to witness the handover alongside Harworth Group plc were stakeholders closely associated with the build including representatives from Sheffield City Region, Sheffield City Council, Rotherham Borough Council, contractors JF Finnegan and architects The Harris Partnership.

The building will now undergo several months of fitting out which will see all the manufacturing equipment installed, including a giant press that will make its way from Germany this summer.

Ruth Nic Aoidh said: “Getting the key to the building that will house the McLaren Composites Technology Centre is a major milestone for us and the next chapter in our growth as a young, ambitious, innovative company.

“It’s also an important day for all of the many individuals, organisations and suppliers who have supported and shared our ambitious plan to make the Sheffield region home to McLaren’s second production facility. This project is also testament to their shared mindset and the region’s long association with advanced materials that we are able to draw on and benefit from.

“Over the coming months the centre will be fitted out with the production equipment we need to become fully operational next year and support hundreds of skilled jobs.”