Hundreds of new jobs could be created as McLaren has unveiled plans to build a new McLaren Applied Technology Centre, adjacent to its existing headquarters in Woking. This all-new building should not be confused with the McLaren GSK Centre for Applied Performance, details of which were publicly revealed yesterday The McLaren Applied Technology Centre will provide additional accommodation for McLaren Applied Technologies (MAT), which is leading the diversification of the McLaren Group into non-motorsport sectors, creating new high-tech markets through innovative product development and design with third-party partnership companies.
The McLaren Applied Technology Centre will comprise up to 60,000 square metres of workshops, prototype manufacturing and testing space, research and development equipment, offices, meeting spaces, innovation hubs and informal break-out spaces. It will also accommodate spaces for teaching and training, which will enable McLaren to play a significant role in developing new and advanced technical engineering skills in partnership with local schools and colleges. Up to 300 construction workers will be employed at the site at any one time over the phased development, and 400 direct jobs will be created and retained at the site. An additional 200 jobs will be created indirectly through manufacturing, suppliers and clients, and increased retail spend in the area.Around 45 per cent of these jobs are expected to be professional or managerial, and around 55 per cent skilled or semi-skilled. McLaren is working closely with the planning consultancy, Terence O’Rourke, on plans for the new building, which will enable it to grow its capabilities in the high-technology innovation sector. Terence O’Rourke has submitted an outline planning application to Woking Borough Council on behalf of McLaren, and an exhibition of the proposals will be held at the Lightbox in the town centre in early October. This will give the public an opportunity to view and comment on the proposals.
Ron Dennis, Executive Chairman of McLaren Group and McLaren Automotive, said:
“This is an incredibly exciting time not just for McLaren but also for the local economy and the UK’s technology innovation sector. Our recent announcement regarding our new long-term strategic partnership with GlaxoSmithKline [GSK] is evidence of the demand and growth potential of this sector.
“By dedicating a part of this proposed new building to education and training, we’ll be able to train the young engineering talent of the future as well as create pioneering solutions to a wide range of problems. As part of this planning application we’re also investigating, with Woking Borough Council, opportunities for establishing a physical presence for McLaren in the town centre, allowing the community to feel part of the success enjoyed by McLaren.”
Haydn Morris, a director at Terence O’Rourke, said:
“Our landscape-led approach has ensured that any potential impact upon the landscape and openness of the green belt will be minimised. We’ve liaised closely with organisations such as the Environment Agency, Natural England, the Energy Centre for Sustainable Communities (ECSC), and the county highway authority, from the beginning, in order to ensure that their input is included within the proposals. As well as the proposals including plans to create ecology lakes and plant a diverse range of flora, they’ll provide a huge boost for the region’s economy.”