Wednesday, July 26, 2017

News: £50m McLaren factory under starter's orders

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Construction on the new £50m facility for supercar manufacturer, McLaren is due to commence at the Rotherham site next month, with an unnamed advanced manufacturer set to join them.

Plans were approved in April for a 75,000 sq ft development on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham that will enable the development and manufacture of the Monocell and Monocage carbon fibre chassis used in future McLaren models. These carbon fibre "tubs" are now in their second generation and have recently been unveiled as the key feature of McLaren's new 720S.

The centre is set to create more than 200 jobs and will comprise approximately 150 production staff and 50 manufacturing support staff.

Harworth Group plc, the brownfield regeneration and property investment specialist that owns the site has announced that McLaren has signed a conditional twenty-year lease for the McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC).

To be designed and built by Harworth, The new unit is being built on Harworth's next phase of employment land known as AMPlify @ The AMP, with unit construction due to commence on site in August 2017. McLaren is expected to take occupation of the new unit in summer 2018, following practical completion.

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At the same time, McLaren and the University of Sheffield are delivering a two-year research and development programme. The first pre-production chassis, built using trial manufacturing processes in the nearby University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, is expected to be delivered to the McLaren Technology Centre in the second half of 2017.

The company also has an objective of producing more than 4,500 vehicles annually by the end of 2022. Motoring magazine, Autocar, is reporting that the facility will have the capacity to make up to 10,000 carbonfibre tubs each year and that Mclaren is considering producing carbonfibre for other car manufacturers.

McLaren Automotive and the McLaren Technology Group recently announced that theyare being brought together under one corporate structure to be called the McLaren Group. It came after Ron Dennis CBE reached agreement with his fellow shareholders to sell his shareholding in both companies.

The AMPlify development has the potential to deliver 465,000 sq ft of new employment space. It includes plots for units ranging from 25,000 sq ft to circa 200,000 sq ft and will build on the award-winning scheme's success by offering Design & Build opportunities aimed at high-value advanced manufacturers and their supply chains.

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Harworth has also announced that it has signed a 15-year lease with an unnamed advanced manufacturer for a new 11,044 sq ft unit at the AMP. The unit was speculatively constructed and the lease was completed within eight weeks of practical completion. Six new units totalling 52,068 sq ft were completed as part of the park's R-evolution development.

The AMP is on the larger Waverley development in Rotherham. Here, Harworth, which was formed in the restructure of what was UK Coal, has sold 8.17 acres to Taylor Wimpey, for the construction of a further 130 houses. This is Taylor Wimpey's third purchase of land at Waverley, following previous land purchases in 2013 and 2015 for a total of 192 plots.

Harworth said that it plans to complete further residential sales at Waverley in the second half of 2017, reflecting the underlying strength of Yorkshire's housing market.

Owen Michaelson, chief executive officer at Harworth Group plc, said: "This announcement continues to demonstrate the fundamental strength of our regional residential and commercial markets. We are delighted to welcome McLaren to the AMP and to be able to support them in their ongoing growth.

"The two announced lease agreements serve as further examples of how we are improving the quality of our income base as we continue to deliver NAV [net asset value] growth across the portfolio. We are maintaining development momentum at the AMP and demand for new units remains high, with the McLaren deal demonstrating how the Harworth offering has evolved to incorporate the design and build of specialist purpose built units on behalf of blue-chip occupiers.

"The sale of residential plots to Taylor Wimpey marks our ninth sale of engineered housing land on Waverley. This will add to the 650 homes that have already built and occupied on the site since 2012, reflecting good demand for our engineered brownfield land from housebuilders."

McLaren website
Harworth website

Images: McLaren / Harworth / Harris Partnership


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