Ground breaking £30M Aerospace Research Centre opens in Coventry

International property and construction consultancy, Gleeds and main contractor, Wates Construction, have formally handed over a state-of-the-art £30 million Aerospace Research Centre to the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry.

The centre, designed by the Fairhursts Design Group on the MTC’s Ansty Park site, is set to provide a national facility for ground breaking aerospace research in the heart of the UK. MTC engineers will work with experts from the world’s major aerospace companies on projects which will define aerospace technology for the future.

As project managers, Gleeds helped the MTC procure the building through a detailed design and build programme. Key to the project’s success was creating a collaborative culture from the initial design phase. Detailed project planning enabled the project to be successfully delivered by the project team over 17 months, whilst working to strict funding requirements. Wates’ role in the Ansty Park development also includes its construction of the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre.

MTC chief executive Dr Clive Hickman said the new Aerospace Research Centre will provide a hub for leading edge aerospace research in a real manufacturing environment. “The existing Manufacturing Technology Centre, the Advanced Manufacturing Training Academy and the Aerospace Research Centre, along with other exciting facilities, will provide a world-class environment to develop and demonstrate new technologies and manufacturing processes on an industrial scale in partnership with industry, academia and Government,” he said.

This was Gleeds’ first appointment with the MTC, but has since been appointed on the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre (AMTC), located on the same site and also being built by Wates. The AMTC, which is due to complete in the summer, will tackle manufacturing skills shortage by training engineering apprentices on a sponsored or part-sponsored basis, up-skilling manufacturing engineers, and developing graduate engineers and industrial designers.

Lindsay McCombe, Gleeds Director for the Midlands, commented: “Gleeds is a proud member of MTC’s construction management team. The Research Centre is a truly inspiring space and offers a unique opportunity for the UK to make its mark on global aerospace technology. Innovation hubs such as this are exactly what we need to support continued economic growth and recovery.”

Richard Scarrott, Business Unit Director, Wates Construction Midlands, commented: “Since 2011 the Manufacturing Technology Centre has increasingly fulfilled a vision for high tech manufacturing and Wates’ completion of the Aerospace Research Centre marks a huge advancement in the ambitious Ansty Park development. Creating an environment in which industry and academia can work together calls for a great deal of flexibility and the close working partnerships between the MTC, Wates and Gleeds has brought us to the end of a very successful project.”