At a glance
- For decades, the small English town of Leamington Spa has played a vital role in the British automotive industry.
- GFG Alliance is reinvigorating the town’s connection to the automotive industry by building a Global Technology Centre there.
- The site is expected to be operational in 2020 and will become the UK hub for LIBERTY’s engineering expertise.
A new GFG Alliance initiative is helping a British town to reinvigorate its proud automotive heritage.
For decades, the small English town of Leamington Spa has played a vital role in the British automotive industry.
Parts produced here were once used in some of Britain’s most iconic car brands – from Jaguar to MG to Daimler – and local makers still support Formula One teams. But with a downturn in British auto manufacturing in the 1990s, the local car parts industry significantly declined.
Now, an initiative by the international business group GFG Alliance is helping to reinvigorate Leamington Spa’s connection to the automotive sector – and bring new jobs to the area. The Alliance is building a Global Technology Centre in the town, which will house more than 100 highly skilled technical professionals and help to develop new automotive technologies.
“We believe in Britain’s bright future at the forefront of advanced engineering and manufacturing of next-generation vehicles,” says Anthony Blackwell, Chief Technology Officer for LIBERTY Engineering, part of the GFG Alliance. “This investment will put LIBERTY at the heart of automotive’s exciting evolution and deliver cutting edge innovations that build on our status as a world-leading supplier in the sector.”
Work began on the GBP 10 million, 4600-square-metre site in March, with the centre expected to be operational in 2020. Once the doors open, it will become the UK hub for LIBERTY’s R&D and engineering expertise. The centre will create jobs for 40 engineers, and it will provide solutions ranging from design and prototyping all the way to volume manufacturing.
Autonomous vehicle capabilities
The new initiative will build upon existing expertise in the design and production of various automotive components and systems, while also growing LIBERTY’s capabilities for alternatively fuelled and autonomous vehicles. It will also house LIBERTY’s Vehicle Technologies, 920Engineering (920E) and Shiftec businesses, renowned internationally for their advanced lightweight braking and control systems.
The location of the site at Tachbrook Road is historically significant. It is adjacent to the plant used by Automotive Products, a pioneering automotive manufacturing company that established operations in Leamington Spa in the early twentieth century. A forerunner to 920E, the company manufactured braking and clutch components for leading vehicle makers and motor racing. The business was acquired by LIBERTY in 2015 and continues to deliver performance products for motorsport, niche and premium automotive.