M Sport Evaluation Centre (MEC) Takes Shape

northern developments November 2019

Having recently completed the first phase of the new state-of-the-art £25million testing facilities for M Sport Limited in West Cumbria, Northern Developments (Cumbria) Limited are progressing at pace and are on target for an autumn 2020 completion.

The first phase of works comprised the design and construction of a 2.5km test track. This civils works to facilitate this involved moving 200,000 Tonnes of earth, whilst ensuring a cut and fill balance to ensure that no materials needed to be removed from site. 6.5km of drainage to the track links to a number of balancing ponds to ensure no negative impact on the local watercourse.

The groundworks for the associated 111,000sq/ft production facility commenced in May of this year, and construction is now well underway, with 550T of structural steelwork and roofing virtually complete, and all external precast concrete walls now installed, all in little over 6 months.

Eddie Ward, Commercial Manager for Northern commented, “this project has been on the drawing board with us since 2010, it is a significant and complex Design & Build of which we’re very proud; we are pleased to finally see it on site, taking shape so quickly”.
The MEC will provide M Sport with the ability to further expand into the wider automotive R&D sector. Northern managed the construction of the existing site facility back in 1999, and it was not long before M Sport were looking to expand further. The new building is more than twice the size of their existing production facilities, providing significant expansion and creating over 100 jobs in the process.
Malcolm Wilson OBE, Managing Director at M-Sport, said “It’s always been important for me to keep the business in Cumbria, and with the help of Cumbria LEP we’re seeing the growth of more and more businesses in our region. The M-Sport Evaluation Centre will provide a unique centre of engineering excellence – allowing world leaders in automotive technology to follow their concepts from design and development, right through to production. Our region is fast becoming a great place for business, and we’re proud to be a part of that.”
Established in 1985 Northern Developments work throughout the UK, recently completing more than £16million worth of purpose-built student accommodation developments through new build and refurbishment. Currently, Northern are evaluating several large scale private rented sector schemes.
Managing Director Martyn Boak commented “we continually look for development opportunities, the depth of our experience allows us to look at all sectors and our proven track record of delivering consistently for over 3 decades counts for an awful lot today, the current political backdrop is certainly adversely affecting the real estate sector and Business’s as a whole which none of the Politicians even begin to understand, however we’re agile, opportunistic and open for Business”.


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