McLaren’s plans for research and manufacturing in the Sheffield City Region has been hailed as a massive triumph for the partnership.
Sir Nigel Knowles, Chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), 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.
“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.”
Cllr Sir Steve Houghton, Chair of the Combined Authority, 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.”
McLaren will work with the University of Sheffield on a two-year research and development programme, leading to the development of a production facility where its lightweight carbon fibre chassis will be built for its new models from 2020.
McLaren Automotive chief executive Mike Flewitt said: “The now-iconic McLaren F1 was the world’s first road car to be built with a carbon fibre chassis and every car built more recently by McLaren Automotive has the same. Creating a facility where we can manufacture our own carbon fibre chassis structures is therefore a logical next step. “We evaluated several options to achieve this objective but the opportunity created by the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at the University of Sheffield was compelling. At the AMRC, we will have access to some of the world’s finest composites and materials research capabilities, and I look forward to building a world-class facility and talented team at the new McLaren Composites Technology Centre.”