During the visit, the Minister was able to see first-hand the progress made at the Enterprise Zone in the last 12 months, including the development and opening of several new buildings – including that of Aston Martin and Haldex, and a new Technology Centre accommodating a number of global automotive Tier 1’s including GKN Driveline, Continental and Goodyear Dunlop – as well as the on-going construction of key infrastructure on the site itself. The Minister also saw a demonstration of MIRA’s new virtual reality model of the Enterprise Zone – a major new marketing tool developed in conjunction with Serious Games International to allow 3D visualisation of the Master Plan.
Whilst visiting MIRA Technology Park, the Minister announced the arrival of Japanese Tier 1 company, Sanoh Industrial Co., which has taken space within brand new serviced office suites based on-site at MIRA Technology Park.
Marcus Jones, Communities Minister, said: “The Government is committed to powering growth across all areas of the country. As part of this commitment we are backing the Midlands’ strength in advanced manufacturing, engineering and science to drive forward innovation and continued ability to create high-tech jobs now and in the future.
“Already the MIRA Technology Park, and the Midlands more widely, has gained global recognition for being a prime location for transport sector research and development.
“Today’s announcement that Sanoh is to join MIRA Technology Park only enhances that world-wide reputation and is a further sign of the significant progress being made in one of the UK’s leading Enterprise Zones.”
Sanoh Industrial Co., which has manufacturing sites already within the UK, is keen to develop a European R&D Centre to support projects with its OEM clients and has now based its UK and European research team at MIRA Technology Park.
Dr Genya Takeda, R&D Director at Sanoh Industrial Co., said: “We have chosen MIRA Technology Park as a location to conduct our research for a European R&D Centre because of its superb facilities, its Central England location and its Enterprise Zone status.
“MIRA is at the heart of the UK automotive industry, and it’s important to us that we’re able to base our research from a location that allows us to tap into automotive excellence on our doorstep.”
The UK Government’s UKTI Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO) helped Sanoh explore the opportunities for investing into the UK.
Lawrence Davies, Deputy CEO of the AIO, said: “I am very pleased to see that yet another major overseas automotive investor has chosen the UK as a base for their European R&D work. It is a further vote of confidence in the UK’s resurgent automotive industry. World-leading facilities such as MIRA ensure that the UK remains a leading choice for companies like Sanoh, and we will continue to work closely with MIRA as we promote UK Automotive worldwide.”
George Gillespie OBE, CEO at MIRA, said: “The automotive technology cluster we are building at MIRA Technology Park is gaining traction, and we’re delighted to be recognised as one of the leading UK Enterprise Zones by the Minister.”
Earlier this year, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced that the MIRA Technology Park Enterprise Zone would expand in size, enabling even more companies to take secure space within the zone. Since development began at MIRA Technology Park, a total of 338 jobs have been created/safeguarded with aims to create over 2,000 high-technology jobs by 2021. In addition, a further 3,000 indirect jobs will be created as a consequence within the Midlands supply chain. Over the last 3 years there has been considerable construction underway, creating around 100 additional construction jobs on-site through local construction firm Deeley, who have now built 5 new buildings and Fitzgerald Contractors who are presently on site developing key infrastructure.