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McLaren to build £50m supercar chassis factory in Sheffield, UK

Published 10 February 2017

Sports car maker McLaren Automotive is building a £50m chassis factory in South Yorkshire, UK, creating 200 jobs.

The facility will be built at the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at Catcliffe in Rotherham.

Construction of the new plant is expected to start early this year and full production of carbon fibre chassis is due by 2020.

Until now, the carbon fibre chassis production was located in Austria.

The carmaker and the university agreed to initiate a two year research and development programme, which can help in building light weight carbon fibre chassis for its new models from 2020.

The research program will begin immediately and will start training McLaren’s apprentices who will work at the new facility.

McLaren plans to harness the expertise of the AMRC to develop advanced manufacturing processes that can allow it produce chassis for its future sports cars.

Processes for chassis production will be first designed and tested at the ARMC and will later be transferred to McLaren’s new facility for full-scale manufacturing, AMRC stated.

The research institute also noted that the university’s investment in facilities and developing capabilities has been as one of the major reasons to attract McLaren.

McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewett said: "Why Sheffield? Because of the local expertise and experience of working with new materials and advanced composites, plus the development facilities offered by the University of Sheffield and their AMRC facility.

International Trade, Secretary of State Liam Fox, said: “Establishing their new Composites Technology Centre in Sheffield shows McLaren’s confidence in the UK as a world-leader in research that will support local business and high-skilled jobs while drawing international investment into the Northern Powerhouse.”

University of Sheffield president and vice-chancellor Sir Keith Burnett said: “This city region and its local and national government partners are making an investment in the future of innovation which the UK urgently needs.

“And along the way we will be transforming a region, creating opportunity, jobs and skills for our young people."


Image: McLaren Automotive supercars at the AMRC’s Factory 2050 for the launch of the new partnership. Photo: Courtesy of PatrickGosling/ Beadyeye.