Work on a £2 million research and development facility in Gateshead has been started by BorgWarner, the electric vehicle component maker. After acquiring Gateshead’s Sevcon last year, the US-headquartered company will safeguard 200 jobs by building the new laboratory, which will be used by engineers to develop clean technology prototypes for testing.
“The new premises will provide us with the facilities and space to achieve the next stage of our growth strategy. We are investing heavily in the new offices and testing facilities and hope to be up-and-running by the summer next year,” said David Sidlow, general manager at Borg Warner.
In March 2017 BorgWarner moved into 55,000 sq ft of premises at the rear of Gateshead College’s Skills Academy for Construction. Two existing properties are being remodelled to facilitate the company’s expansion.
The project manager of the development of the laboratory is Knight Frank’s building consultancy team. Meanwhile, Blake Hopkinson Architecture designed the scheme and Robertson North East is the general contractor, supported by Portland Engineers and Wilson Grey.
“We have actually been working on this project for over a year as we were originally appointed by Sevcon prior to the company being taken over by Borg Warner, so it’s a relief to finally get on site and get started,” said Knight Frank managing partner, Ian Tew.
“It’s a very exciting, futuristic development to be involved with and because the project is securing a significant amount of local jobs, it’s even more of a pleasure to be steering it,” he concluded.