Aston Martin begins work on new production facility

Warwickshire sports car manufacturer Aston Martin has formally taken possession of a redundant defence facility that will become the base of its second UK production works.

The company will now begin converting former units at MoD St Athan in South Wales ahead of the start of production on its new crossover vehicle, which is likely to be in 2019.

The former military site was handed over to the company by Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon in a ceremony attended by Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer, Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns and Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones.

Dr Palmer said: “Due to its sheer size and scale, the St Athan Super Hangars represented an excellent opportunity for us to build our second manufacturing facility, within the envelope of an existing structure. It is perhaps fitting that St Athan is, like our headquarters and sports car factory at Gaydon, a former Royal Air Force base.”

Just over a year ago, Aston Martin announced that St Athan had been chosen from 20 potential global locations – including at least one in the West Midlands – as the site for its second UK manufacturing plant.

The move formed a crucial part of the company’s growth plan, that will see 1,000 new jobs created across its two manufacturing sites by 2020, with a likely further 3,000 across the supply chain and local businesses in Wales.

Phase I of its Second Century Plan began late last year when it was first given access to part of the site and began to create the customer and staff reception areas, administration and management offices and the employee restaurant.

Phase II, which follows the handover of the facility from the MoD, will see the three super hangars redeveloped into the new production facility.

A recruitment event last year attracted 3,000 applications and the first technicians enrolled are now working on the DB11 at Gaydon and receiving training for the highly-skilled roles they will take up at St Athan in 2020.