Inventor James Dyson

Dyson to create new research and development hub in Wiltshire

Image credit: The Royal Society

Billionaire inventor Sir James Dyson has announced plans for a new multimillion-pound research and development centre in a move to expand his company's footprint tenfold in the UK.

Vacuum and electronics giant Dyson is to begin work on a second technology campus on a 517-acre former Ministry of Defence (MoD) site at Hullavington in Wiltshire, near its Malmesbury headquarters.

It comes as the group is looking to double its workforce to around 7,000 in the next five or six years and will create a global hub for research and development (R&D).

Sir James said: “After 25 years of UK growth, and continuing expansion globally, we are fast outgrowing our Malmesbury Campus.

“The 517-acre Hullavington Campus is an investment for our future, creating a global hub for our research and development endeavours.

“It will enable us to continue creating world-class products and jobs right here in the Cotswolds.”

Brexit-backing Sir James recently announced plans to launch the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology (DIET) in September - a new university based at its Malmesbury headquarters in Wiltshire - and two weeks ago it opened a new technology centre in Singapore.

Prime Minister Theresa May hailed Dyson's new campus plans as a “vote of confidence in our modern industrial strategy and our determination to cement the UK's position as a world leader in high-tech engineering”.

She added: “Dyson's exporting strength and commitment to creating jobs in Britain is a real success story that demonstrates the opportunity that our plan to create a truly global Britain can present.”

Dyson already has two sites in the UK - its Malmesbury HQ and a Bristol software hub.

It is also investing £250m on expanding its 56-acre HQ.

Dyson has not disclosed how much will be invested in the Hullavington site, but the group has pledged to pump £2.5bn into future technologies and currently spends £7m a week on R&D.

It is set to begin site preparations for the first phase of the Hullavington development next week, with restoration of the Second World War hangars beginning in May.

The site was originally an RAF Flying Training Station, first opened in 1937, but has been largely inactive since the mid-1990s and was one of 12 put up for sale by the MoD in January 2016.

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