Royal guests at McLaren opening

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Bahrain, have officially opened McLaren Automotive’s new £50m production facility in Yorkshire, England.

The McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) aims to be a world-leader in innovating lightweight carbon fibre and composites that will work together with future powertrain development to save weight and produce greater energy efficiencies.

Those present to witness the occasion were invited representatives from Sheffield and Rotherham Councils, senior local stakeholders and the 50 employees already employed at the MCTC.

Chief executive Mike Flewitt invited the royal guests to jointly unveil a carbon fibre plaque at the ceremony held at the new McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) in the Sheffield region.

After seeing an example of a completed carbon tub, Mike Flewitt, McLaren shareholders and senior members of the company’s executive toured the royal guests around the facility.

The royal guests saw the process for producing carbon fibre tubs – currently in pre-production phase – from the cutting of the carbon fibre cloth, to the forming, pressing, machining and measuring of the final tub. Along the way they were invited to press the button to start the cutting machine and speak to some of the site’s staff.

Built on a former open-cast coal mine, the opening of the 7,000sqm building set over four acres comes just seven years to the week after the launch of the MPC in Surrey.

The target is that the MCTC will deliver £100m of gross value-added benefit to the local economy by 2028 as well as supporting skills development in the region.