£300 Million Advanced Engineering Development Endorsed by Secretary of State

Planning approval for a 1.5 million sq ft technology park development has been endorsed by Secretary of State Eric Pickles, in a move which will see the creation of Europe’s most advanced independent transport technology facility within the newly created Enterprise Zone on Leicestershire and Warwickshire’s border.

The development will create more than 2,000 jobs and is part of advanced transport engineering, research and test organisation MIRA’s plans to triple its turnover within the next ten years by attracting inward investment from emerging markets including China, India and Brazil.

The relevant local planning authorities (Hinckley & Bosworth and North Warwickshire Borough Councils), with whom the approval to grant final consent now rests, were notified of his decision yesterday placing the £300 million development on track to break ground by the end of 2012 – start of 2013.

The development will make MIRA’s existing offer to global transport technology businesses (research & development expertise, advanced engineering consultancy and comprehensive testing facilities) even more attractive to occupiers and investors, who also benefit from tax breaks and access to super-fast broadband following the development’s attainment of Enterprise Zone status during the autumn.

Commenting on the Secretary of States’ decision, MIRA CEO Dr George Gillespie said: “The technology park and our new state-of-the-art engineering headquarters are fundamental to our on-going expansion plans – so the Secretary of State’s decision was crucial.

“Once consent has been granted we can now press ahead with the development of our new facilities and continue our dialogue with those companies who have expressed a desire to relocate here in order to penetrate the European market.”

MIRA was recently awarded close to £20 million of Regional Growth Funding to assist with the road infrastructure improvements that will serve the new development and facilitate the early phases of development.

Development Director, Andy Macdonald added: “MIRA targets a highly specialised customer base and the business’ unique spectrum of facilities, testing and consultancy services - plus the opportunity to occupy the new, bespoke buildings that will now be developed here have created an exceptionally strong demand from both international and domestic companies.

“MIRA’s existing technology park has been at capacity for some time – being home to over 32 world-class automotive firms including Jaguar Land Rover and Toyota, so receiving the green-light for a much wider development will ensure we have the facilities to match our capabilities over the next 30 years.”

Headquartered on an 850 acre site, the campus will span a total of 1.75 million sq ft and incorporate MIRA’s own new 538,000 sq ft engineering facility. New specialist hybrid buildings will replace outdated existing infrastructure and additional central amenities serving the on-site workforce will include a 100 bed hotel, retail, leisure and restaurant facilities – all within extensive landscaped grounds that complement the development's rural setting.

To find out more about MIRA’s expansion plans visit www.miratechnologypark.com