Jaguar Land Rover centre build now under way

The foundation stone has been laid for the new National Automotive Innovation Centre in the Midlands.

Jaguar Land Rover centre build now under way

The £150 million centre at the University of Warwick, Coventry, will open in spring 2017 and provide a state-of-the-art technology hub for Jaguar Land Rover's advanced research team and collaborative partners from the supply chain and academics.

It will also help to inspire the next generation of engineers and complement JLR's product research and development centres in Gaydon and Whitley, near Coventry.

NAIC is a partnership between JLR, the Warwick Manufacturing Group, Tata Motors European Technical Centre and the Higher Education Funding Council England.

Ratan Tata and Cyrus Mistry, of JLR owners Tata Group and JLR chief executive Dr Ralf Speth, joined Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, chairman and founder of WMG, to unveil the foundation stone which marks the start of the construction phase.

The 33,000 square metre centre is the next stage in JLR's strategy to develop its global research and development and engineering capability. JLR currently employs more than 8,000 engineers and designers in the UK and is investing more than ever before in new technologies, skills and facilities.

In the financial year 2015/16 the business, which last year opened its new engine plant at the i54, Wolverhampton, will invest up to £3.8 billion in product creation.

Dr Speth said: "The centre will serve as a generator of new skills and new thinking, providing a perfect, collaborative environment in which to learn, research and develop the designs and technologies which will shape the vehicles and personal mobility solutions of the future.

"NAIC will have a significant role inspiring the engineers of tomorrow and will help develop the skills we need for the UK to remain competitive."

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