McLaren Automotive’s new £50m carbon fibre innovation and production centre gets the royal treatment

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McLaren Automotive’s new £50m carbon fibre innovation and production centre gets the royal treatment

The new McLaren carbon fibre innovation and production centre has been officially opened in the UK by two princes.

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


The new McLaren automotive Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) is aiming to be the leading lightweight carbon fibre and composites centre in the world. The main purpose being the reduction of weight in any future powertrain development so as to produce greater energy efficiencies.


The facility is already in the process of innovating and Prototyping McLaren’s next generation of lightweight carbon fibre tubs which will be an integral part of the performance and agility of its sports cars and super cars.


The Royal guests jointly unveiled a carbon fibre plaque at the ceremony held at the new McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) located near Sheffield.


The MCTC is McLaren’s first purpose-built facility outside of their current campus in Surrey.

They chose the Sheffield area because of their extensive materials expertise, skills and university resources in the region.


They are hoping that the latest innovations will lead to the launch of 18 new models or derivatives under its ambitious Track25 business plan that are lightest in class.


McClaren Carbon Fibre

McLaren first introduced carbon fibre chassis in its Formula 1 cars back in 1981 and since then, carbon fibre has been part of their DNA. Carbon fibre’s innate strength and lightweight properties mean that the company has never made a race car, sports car or supercar without it since.


After completing trial tubs in 2019 and once fully operational in 2020, the MCTC will create over 200 direct jobs and produce carbon fibre tubs that will be sent to the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) in Woking, Surrey, for hand assembly into cars, over 90 per cent of which are then exported to markets worldwide.


The ‘royal’ visitors saw the process for producing carbon fibre tubs, from the cutting of the carbon fibre cloth to the forming, pressing, machining and measuring of the final tub. They were invited to press the button to start the cutting machine, speak to some of the 50 or so people already employed at the 7,000m2 building set over four acres on what was formerly an open-cast coal mine.


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. Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive said:


“It was an honour for myself and all of the 2,300 people at McLaren Automotive to host The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince of The Kingdom of Bahrain, to officially open the MCTC and to show them the process we are innovating for the production of carbon fibre. They met some of the extraordinary, creative and passionate people we already have working here who are making that ambition a reality.
“It is an important milestone for us as a ground-breaking, innovative car company and allows us to tap into the great energy, vitality and skills this part of the world has to offer. What goes on here at the MCTC will be vital for our ability to make good on our intention to continue to develop and unveil cars that are lightest in class; it is my belief that Britain – through facilities like this – can become a world leader in lightweight materials technology that will help create more efficient future vehicles.
“We are proud to be bringing new jobs to the Sheffield region which has a long association with advanced materials; first with steel and now a future to look forward to with carbon fibre innovation and production for McLaren.”
McLaren Composites


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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