£50m tech hub planned

THE company which is developing the T50 supercar is planning to invest £50million on establishing a new global headquarters at the former BOC complex in Valley End.

Gordon Murray Group (GMG) intends to create 100 jobs at a technology campus that will house a vehicle manufacturing and research centre, customer sales and a heritage vehicle collection.

An artist’s impression of the reception building planned for the former BOC site at Valley End

The company, established by the man who designed successful Formula One cars and the McLaren F1 road car, bought the 54-acre site in February.

Its former owner, Kamkorp Ltd, had permission for an electric vehicle research centre on the site, including a monorail test track, but its plans never came to fruition and the company was liquidated in February this year.

GMG has applied for planning permission to construct three new buildings on the land, which is bounded by Highams Lane, Chertsey Road and the M3 motorway.

It will retain the iconic BOC office block, which was opened in 1985, for uses including education, offices and storage. The block – designed to represent a diagram of an oxygen molecule – was built on the site of the former Convent of the Good Shepherd.

GMG chairman, Prof Gordon Murray, said: “This  new technology campus and global headquarters is a major investment and a huge step forward for the Gordon Murray Group, as we gather momentum for the next phase of our business and our brands, spearheaded by the all-new T50 supercar.

“It is a significant investment and will create high value-added new jobs. We’re also proud to be already making significant contribution to UK exports, and helping secure the vital UK automotive supply chain.

“More than 90 per cent of the content of the new T50 comes from UK suppliers, which is something that we specified from the start. It is designed, engineered and manufactured from world-class British components in Britain.”

GMG will continue to build the T50 cars – which will cost around £2.8million in the UK when they area released in 2022 – at Dunsfold.

BOC – previously British Oxygen Company – was taken over by the Linde Group, which moved the HQ from Valley in 2011. The main office building has been empty since then.

The new planning application is currently being evaluated by Surrey Heath Borough Council. If permission is given, it is intended that the complex will be finished by 2024.

The plans have been cautiously supported by Chobham and Windlesham parish councils, which both say the scheme should show very special circumstances for new development in the Green Belt.

Among other observations, they have also asked for confirmation that the total area of the new buildings is smaller than that of the previously approved Kamkorp plans.

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