Work has begun on Lockheed Martin UK’s new multi-million pound Ampthill facility to manufacture turrets for the British Army’s armoured vehicles.
The £5.5m facility – which is almost an acre in size – will form part of the production line at Lockheed Martin that will manufacture new turrets for the Warrior armoured vehicles and the Scout SV.
Work on the new building where the vehicle turrets will be kitted out and assembled before being integrated onto the vehicle platforms, is due to be completed in early 2016.
Ampthill is the largest of Lockheed Martin’s 21 sites in the UK and the 900 employees based there are involved in a range of programmes.
This new manufacturing facility is part of £23m investment that has been made onto the site over the past 10 years to expand and upgrade the infrastructure as the business has grown.
VP and MD of Lockheed Martin UK’s Ampthill site, Alan Lines commented: “The turrets that will be manufactured in our new facility have been designed and developed here in Bedfordshire and the new production line will help to make Ampthill a world class location for this highly skilled and technical work.
“Our continued investment is creating opportunities for jobs and exports, and demonstrates our commitment not only to the Warrior and Scout SV programmes but also to our workforce and to the local community.”
Employees from Lockheed Martin UK were joined by leaders from Central Bedfordshire Council; the Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce; the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), as well as representatives from Government.
They were given an opportunity to meet with apprentices and graduates working on the key programmes and explore the existing facilities such as the site’s 3D printing suite, to understand how technology and innovation are driving manufacturing.
Councillor Nigel Young, Executive Member for Regeneration and Business at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “High performance technologies is a growing sector and military equipment is one that Central Bedfordshire has a particular strength in.”