Work on £355m i54 Jaguar Land Rover factory moves ahead

JLR bosses today revealed they have made “excellent progress” on the new £355 million engine factory on the i54 business park.

Construction work has been suspended over the Christmas and New Year holiday but will start again tomorrow.

And these latest pictures show the huge strides that have already been made on the 753,500 sq ft project. Steel framework and building panels have all gone up in recent weeks despite often appalling weather that has hit the region.

The company is pushing ahead with the development, which is expected to be ready to start engine production in 2014.

The two massive buildings that will make up the main factory – each as big as four football pitches – are taking shape as construction company Interserve continues to make progress.

Around 4,200 tons of steel will go into the buildings along with 20,600 cubic metres of concrete.

JLR has underlined the importance of the new engine factory to the future of the company as it develops its new range of fuel efficient i4 inline four cylinder diesel and petrol engines for new cars being developed.

The West Midlands-based luxury car maker is planning to more than double the number of its vehicles made annually to 600,000 by 2020.

It plans to make six new Range Rovers, five new versions of the Discovery and Freelander and five Defenders, including a pick-up, as well as launching its new Jaguar F-Type sports car this year.

The company is already on track for record breaking sales and has invested millions in expanding production and hiring more than 2,000 staff at its Castle Bromwich and Solihull factories.

To cope with its ramped-up car production the new Wolverhampton plant will be making an engine every 36 seconds once it hits its stride.