Enterprise Zones attracting more overseas investment as Haldex moves to MIRA

Posted on 28 November 2013 · Posted in News

Enterprise Zones are pushing the UK ahead of global competitors after attracting even more overseas investment.

The latest investment, which comes from Swedish company Haldex, will be based at the MIRA Technology Park Enterprise Zone, creating jobs and growth for the local economy.

Haldex, a Swedish manufacturer of automotive safety systems with annual net sales of nearly £400 million, is to create its new European Technical Centre at the MIRA Technology Park Enterprise Zone, consolidating their European research and development operations in the UK.

The state of the art 25,000 square foot facility in the heart of the Midlands will bring an initial 44 high tech jobs to the area, developing a new generation of safety systems.

The announcement signals the ongoing resurgence of the UK automotive industry and a substantial investment into MIRA Technology Park Enterprise Zone.

Five Enterprise Zones are firmly behind innovation in the UK’s automotive industry. They are part of the government’s automotive strategy which aims to secure the long term future of the sector and grow the UK’s share of it, using research and development to stay at the cutting edge of change.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles said:

“We have acted fast to tackle the deficit. We are now focused on backing the industries of the future, growing the private sector and making Britain a great place to do business.

“When international companies like Haldex invest here it shows we have got our offer right. Every 20 seconds a car, van, bus or truck rolls off a UK production line and enterprise zones like MIRA Technology Park are magnets for the global motor industry with the best international businesses choosing them as their home.

“This is just the beginning – enterprise zones are at the heart of our long-term economic plans. They are already making a big difference, attracting increased investment to the UK – half a billion pounds so far – and creating over 4,600 jobs in just a year and a half.”

This is the latest signal that MIRA is being seen the world over as an automotive centre of excellence. The technology park is set to become the most advanced transport research and development centre in Europe. Bosch, Ashok Leyland and Lockheed Martin have already located key parts of their global businesses there.

MIRA’s world beating facilities are helping firms to develop the transport technology of the future, including the next generation of electric cars, braking systems, intelligent transport systems and unmanned vehicle systems. The government is investing £7.4 million in loans to fund infrastructure investment to help MIRA expand.

Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable said:

“The British car industry is a big national success story. This year it has attracted more than £2.5 billion of investment and created 5,000 new jobs. Haldex’s decision to base its European Technical Centre at MIRA shows we are an attractive place for international companies to do business.

“The government’s industrial strategy is clearly working and giving business the confidence to invest and create more high skilled, long term jobs in the UK. We have launched the £3 million Automotive Investment Organisation – a specialist team dedicated to winning overseas investment in the UK car industry. We have also committed more than £1 billion over the next 10 years to ensure the UK maintains its leading position on researching and developing greener car technology.”

Bo Annvik, President and CEO at Haldex, said:

“The relocation of our European Research and Development Centre to MIRA Technology Park will allow us to expand our engineering capabilities and benefit from integrating at 1 site our world class design and development resources with the multiple test track facilities at MIRA. We look forward to being a part of the MIRA community, and we believe that this initiative will be a key strategic step in supporting our development that will benefit both Haldex and our customers.”

George Gillespie, CEO, MIRA Ltd said:

“Haldex, and its new European Technical Centre, is a fantastic addition to our site, to the growing automotive cluster based here, and to the region as a whole. From the very beginning one of our key aims for the MIRA Technology Park was to create the ideal location for international businesses to locate their European research and development operations, and this latest announcement signals yet another significant step forward in that vision becoming reality.

“We are very excited about this latest news, and expect more announcements to follow.”

Joe Greenwell, CEO of the Automotive Investment Organisation, said:

“I welcome Haldex’s decision to choose the MIRA Enterprise Zone as the location of its new European technical centre, as I am very familiar with MIRA’s strengths, which include a superb offer to potential inward investors underpinned by its status as an enterprize zone. Investments like this continue to demonstrate the ongoing strength of the UK automotive sector, not just in existing production, but also in the technologies of the future, and I am confident that the sector will continue to match the best the world has to offer.”

For more information see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/enterprise-zones-drive-forward-uk-industry-with-foreign-investment.