The 110,000ft2 bespoke facility, including 40,000ft2 of office accommodation, has been pre-let to GKN with funding provided by BP Pension Fund.
Gareth Williams, development director at St Francis Group said: “When we were presented in 2017 with GKN Aerospace’s vision for a network of regional technology centres across the globe, it was clear that this could be one of our more exciting development projects. It hasn’t let us down.”
“The Global Technology Centre will enable GKN Aerospace to create a world leading facility for research particularly in the areas of wing configuration and construction, meaning intellectual property, skills and knowledge is retained in the UK.
Jane Leedham, estates director at GKN Aerospace said: “For such a high-profile project with a continually evolving brief, it was essential that we found a development partner with a delivery team that was both flexible and extremely capable. In return for a long-term commitment from GKN Aerospace, we were able to secure a bespoke research and development facility to rival all others.”
The centre will focus on 3D printing, advanced composites, assembly and industry 4.0 processes to enable the high rate production of aircraft structures.
The GTC will maintain GKN Aerospace’s position at the forefront of technology development for the next generation of energy efficient aircraft.
The facility will also serve as a base for GKN’s technology partnership in the Airbus’ ”Wing of Tomorrow” technology programme as well as new additive manufacturing industrialisation programmes.
GKN Aerospace www.gknaerospace.com