McLaren Automotive announces its plans


Ron Dennis, Chairman of McLaren Automotive, announced today plans for the UK home of a brand new British-built range of high-performance, high-technology sports cars. Located adjacent to the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) is a proposal that would provide an important investment in the UK automotive and high-tech manufacturing infrastructure.

An application for planning permission was submitted yesterday (May 19 2009) to Woking Borough Council for the facility that would have the capacity for up to 20 pure McLaren sports cars per day. Aiming to be the UK's most modern and efficient automotive production facility, MPC would provide employment growth at McLaren supporting over 800 automotive jobs and an estimated additional 1,500 indirectly in the local economy.

The planned building of MPC would also support sustained growth of the McLaren brand in providing high-value, high-tech manufacturing and engineering employment in the midst of the global recession. With its first product, a high performance and highly efficient sports car due to be delivered in early 2011, McLaren's globally respected road car and racing car development skills are set to redefine the automotive engineering environment in the UK.

Ron Dennis said: "Ever since we revealed the McLaren F1 sports car in 1992, it has been a long-held dream of mine to launch a McLaren sports car company. Designing, developing and selling globally the best sports cars in the world is just half of that equation; building them to previously un-matched levels of quality, with ground-breaking technologies in a production facility in the UK is key to satisfying that dream. I believe that if the McLaren Production Centre is given the go ahead, it will be an engineering centre of excellence of which McLaren and the UK can be proud."

Following a thorough planning process McLaren submitted a formal planning application that takes the McLaren Technology Centre's (MTC) successful 2003 development as its lead precedent.

Six years ago, McLaren worked in partnership with Woking Borough Council and the Horsell Common Preservation Society to build an award-winning 'Foster+Partners'-designed headquarters that offered extensive public access to its grounds and restored previously contaminated land. MTC's build and integration into the landscape enabled sustained growth of McLaren Group companies to 1500 employees, adhered to strict planning controls and legal obligations and won a Royal Town Planning Institute award for its planning delivery. It is Ron Dennis' aim that the McLaren Production Centre will follow a comparably successful process.

Dennis continued: "It would be easy enough to consider building McLaren sports cars in existing productive and experienced foreign factories; a number of which are knocking on our door. However, McLaren is a great British company founded over 40 years ago that should, in my view, continue to design and build our own products."

McLaren's plans for the MPC further support recent political and business calls for the creation of high-tech manufacturing and engineering jobs to support the UK's growth out of recession. A Woking Borough Council decision on McLaren's planning application for the McLaren Production Centre is anticipated at the end of July.

The proposed 'Foster+Partners'-designed manufacturing centre complies with all key planning principles set by the existing planning consent and features a building sunk into the ground to minimise visual impact, substantial new areas of tree planting and re-contouring to effectively disguise above-ground views, and improves access to public land for recreation.

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Published: 20/05/2009
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