McLaren’s new £50 million carbonfibre manufacturing centre in South Yorkshire moved a significant step closer to operation today when executive director Ruth Nic Aoidh was handed the keys to the facility.
Aoidh said that, over the coming months, the McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) "will be fitted out with the production equipment we need to become fully operational next year and support hundreds of skilled jobs".
The site, McLaren's first outside its Woking home, is located in the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Catcliffe, between Sheffield and Rotherham.
Although it's not yet operational, an earlier event to celebrate the facility's birth has already seen a Senna hypercar perform doughnuts to ‘christen’ the newly laid factory floor, which spans 75,000sq ft.
Around 45 McLaren employees are already located at the nearby University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), which is partnering McLaren. This team is set to grow to 200 and is working on pushing advances in carbonfibre tub technology.
Using the university’s facilities, McLaren’s team is making pre-production versions of its one-piece 'MonoCell' tubs that form the basis of its cars. Employees are therefore already gaining experience of the build processes, which are said to embrace some new techniques and more automation. Additionally, McLaren is training apprentices who will work at the new facility.
Currently, the task of tub production is sub-contracted to a Salzburg-based company named Carbo Tech. Production of tubs will begin at the MCTC in 2019.