Bentley Motors today announced the creation of 300 new jobs and a £40m investment to expand its Crewe site with a new research and development centre.
The move was welcomed by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, who visited the Pyms Lane factory with local MP Edward Timpson this morning.
Mr Osborne said: “Bentley is an iconic British Brand that exports around the world. Their decision to create another 300 jobs in research and development on a new site providing close to 1,000 new jobs is fantastic news for Crewe and for Britain.
“These highly skilled jobs in this export industry are exactly the kind of opportunities we want to see created which is why in yesterday’s Autumn Statement I provided further incentives for R&D in the UK.
“The investment will not only create jobs at Bentley, but support many more through suppliers across the UK.
I want Britain to be a country where companies want to invest and create jobs, as Bentley is doing today.”
The new centre, measuring over 45,000m², will include a dedicated styling studio, research and development offices and a technical workshop.
The facilities will house 1,300 Bentley engineers and is the latest step in preparing Bentley’s infrastructure to bring the world’s first ultra-luxury SUV to roads in 2016.
Work on the new development is due to begin early next year.
The 300 new jobs will be in engineering, manufacturing, quality, sales and marketing and project management.
Bentley chairman and chief executive Wolfgang Dürheimer, said: “With Bentley's new research and development centre, we will develop a new generation of Bentleys, which will continue our commitment of luxury, performance, quality and engineering excellence.
"Bentley is the number one luxury car manufacturer in the world and driving more investment into our headquarters and attracting talent is key to continuing our success.”
Today's news brings the total number of new jobs announced at the Crewe plant over the past 18 months to more than 950.
The luxury car maker has also produced record sales over this period.
Last year, Bentley delivered more cars than ever before - a total of 10,120, and it expects to break that figure in 2014.
The company also committed to an £800 million investment over three years in product and facility development, with this announcement driving the investment to £840 million.
Edward Timpson said he was delighted with the announcement.
"This is another real and lasting vote of confidence in Crewe and is great news for local jobs," said the Crewe and Nantwich MP.
"That the Chancellor of the Exchequer chose to come to Crewe the day after the Autumn Statement and see first hand the boost that Bentley is giving to the local economy is firm evidence of the importance of our town to the long term economic recovery of this country.
"Bentley and its employees should be very proud of what they are achieving here."
Bentley says this expansion, the latest in a string of investments, further underlines the company's commitment to Crewe and the UK.
Recent investments include a new apprenticeship training facility, where the largest apprentice intake in a decade will learn, a new flagship showroom, an expanded engine production facility and paint shop.
Bentley is also playing a pivotal role in bringing the first university technical college to Crewe.
Cheshire East is to relocate its waste and recycling site so Bentley can expand along Pyms Lane and build its world class research and development centre.
The council is working with the luxury car manufacturer to support its expansion by unlocking key sites it owns next to Bentley’s existing operation.
The planned multi-million pound research and development centre will create 300 jobs.
In addition to this, a dedicated supplier park is also set to be created, bringing further jobs to the town.
Cheshire East leader Michael Jones said: “This is the right deal and is yet another piece in the jigsaw of our vision to create a world-class automotive research and development centre and rail hub in Crewe.
“The council and Bentley came together to develop this opportunity as we were aware of their ambitions and we are committed to their success.
“This is another example of us working successfully with them to push forward with growth and developing automotive science.”
The council leader said he was 100% behind the new project and ‘I’d like to thank Bentley for believing in Cheshire East and believing in the UK’.
“We have been able to move at a pace most authorities simply couldn’t manage to ensure this project goes ahead,” said Cllr Jones.
“This deal also enables us to bring forward implementation of our waste strategy creating a cost-effective, robust and sustainable waste service.
“An improved service, reduced long-term costs, increased efficiency and lower carbon emissions are all vitally important to us creating a green and sustainable place to live, work and visit.”
Cheshire East says Bentley’s expansion will allow the council to pursue its waste strategy by developing a bespoke waste transfer station.
It says this will minimise landfill and support energy from waste initiatives.
The new set-up will also lower long-term costs and improve resilience within the system.
But the council has stressed there are no planned job losses.
A Cheshire East spokesman said the existing site at Pyms Lane is not suitable to effectively manage the authority’s waste for the next 30 years.
He said moving to one suitable bespoke site will also bring new employment opportunities as well as helping the council meet its waste recycling rates and carbon reduction plans.
No-one at the council was prepared to say at this stage where the new waste transfer station will be or when the existing site is likely to close down.