MIRA development plan

MIRA plans massive expansion

Vehicle engineering business MIRA has announced details of a £300 million investment plan to create a new technology park for transport businesses at its Warwickshire campus.

The move is part of an ambitious plan to make MIRA a £100million business within the next ten years. "We're finding a lot of interest from potential investors," MIRA CEO George Gillespie told E&T. "We have around 30 major OEM's and Tier One suppliers on our existing technology park, which is reaching its capacity, so we're building on a successful model."

The development is intended to create "a transport-technology-centric community of companies" that will benefit from proximity to one another and easy access to the facilities MIRA can offer. These include a proving ground, wind tunnel and crash-test laboratory as well as a wealth of engineering expertise.

Gillespie said: “MIRA is a fantastic opportunity for the UK. We have the capability to take the lead in emerging technologies, such as low carbon vehicles and intelligent mobility, that are becoming desirable throughout the world and to attract international companies looking for advanced engineering expertise and facilities.

"We would hope to host one or two European technical centres," Gillespie continued. "We're in discussion with some Asian manufacturers of cars and commercial vehicles looking to Europeanise their products. They need a proving ground, crash lab and wind tunnel. We have these and can offer them a low-risk, fast-start way to do that.

In parallel with developing the technology park, MIRA is renewing its own facilities with a 43,000sqm state-of-the-art Engineering Centre to replace existing buildings that date back to the 1950s. The first phase, including environmentally sustainable office space and component testing areas, will be ready by 2014, with a new crash-test lab following a few years later.

New graduate and apprentice recruitment programmes will ensure the steady flow of skilled people to work in the new facilities.

"I want to turn MIRA into a globally recognised brand in vehicle engineering," Gillespie concluded.

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