Cameron opens McLaren's £50m production centre

Cameron opens McLaren's £50m production centre
McLaren's new £50million production facility has been officially opened by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Based in Woking, Surrey, the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) is expected to create 350 highly skilled jobs and has been described as a major boost for UK manufacturing.

In a statement, McLaren said: "Today's visit to McLaren by David Cameron is a statement of intent: that we're committed to building a home grown sports car manufacturer to take on the likes of Europe's and North America's giants.

"Design and manufacturing have been at the backbone of British industry for more than 100 years, and are activities that we as a company not only passionately believe in, but consider of primary importance to the future economic growth and recovery of the United Kingdom."

McLaren plans to produce more than 4,000 of its high performance MP4-12C sports vehicles at the new facility by 2015, and has aspirations to develop a new model each year.

Speaking at the launch event, Cameron described the work of the auto giant as 'inspiring', and said that his visit was a great reminder that Britain still had 'world class engineering, world class manufacturing and world class production techniques'.

He commented: "Engineering does not get more complex than this - tens of thousands of components, aerodynamics that almost defy the laws of physics, cars that go from 0 to 300kmh in less than nine seconds.

"This team designs a new part for a car every 20 minutes across the season, that's how fast the innovation is. It's engineering so groundbreaking that when space scientists are looking for ideas they come to the brains in Formula One."

Cameron also used his visit to Woking to announce a new apprenticeship scheme. The initiative will allow companies to bid for £50m of government funds if they can demonstrate that they have compelling training schemes in place.

"This will put the money for training directly into employers' hands," he said. "We're basically saying: the money is there, establish your own schemes and we will fund you."

The Prime Minister said the government will be investing in a record number of apprenticeships in a bid to give young people the very best skills, training and opportunities to succeed,

He concluded: "I know times are tough - especially for young people - who are trying to get their foot in the door and launch their career.

"I don't for one second underestimate the difficulties ahead of us, but at the same time we have to be alive to the hope that is out there.

"It's about the growing strength of our car industry, the genius of our engineers, the genuine drive of our young people and apprentices - I've seen all of those things today.

"Its visits to places like this that make me optimistic about the future, even in the difficult times we face."

Laura Hopperton

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