Bloodhound opened their new Technical Centre in Avonmouth, Bristol, yesterday in conjunction with the announcement they will receive a £1m government grant.
The Bloodhound SSC will be assembled in the Avonmouth centre as it aims to be the first vehicle on land to exceed 1,000mph.
The project has been a great success at inspiring children by demonstrating what is possible from UK engineering. The opening was attended by both engineers and young students.
To recognise the company’s achievement in teaching children about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) universities and science minister David Willetts announced a £1m grant to support Bloodhound’s education and outreach missions.
Mr Willetts said the project’s success “will not only be measured in miles per hour, but also how it inspires future generations”.
Bloodhound’s high technology programme involves 5,340 schools in the UK, including special needs colleges, using Bloodhound materials in class. The programme is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
Jess Herbert, 16, an engineering apprentice at Rolls-Royce, said the ambition and the excitement shown by the Bloodhound project set her on a career path in engineering.
“I first heard about the Project when I was 13 and thought it was incredibly ambitious and exciting. It really showed what engineering is all about: the challenge, the creativity, the teamwork and the problem solving. It helped me realise that this is the career path I wanted to follow. So here I am today, one of 12 Rolls-Royce apprentices, thanks to Bloodhound.”
Conor La Grue, product sponsorship lead at Bloodhound SSC, said the project was finally coming together after a lot of work to get to the stage that the project is currently at.
“It’s a really exciting time to see these new bits come in and the final bits of the car get detailed and designed. It’s really coming together now, it’s been a long road to get to the point where we start to see these big chunks.
“Now we’ve got this new building, we’ve got the space to do all the different assemblies. We’ve got a strategy together to get the car as fast as we can.”
Mr La Grue said it was unrealistic to think a project like the Bloodhound SSC could be manufactured entirely in the UK, but hailed support from across the industry.
“The vast majority of the parts were made in the UK. There were key partners outside the UK making material and components beacuse the truth of it is you couldn’t manufacture what is effectively a fast fighter jet project entirely in the UK, we just don’t have the resources anymore.
“But we have had incredible support from the UK industry and the 180 key manufacturing partners, 90% of them are UK based and SMEs and a huge proportion of them provided their services either free of charge or at a near cost rate and effectively sponsored the part that they’re making.
“So we’ll end up having spent £2.5m to deliver a £20m+ supply chain spend which when you consider what we’re producing and the engineering question it has to answer, it’s a pretty remarkable rate really.”