The owners of a vast global vehicle testing site on the Leicestershire/Derbyshire border have brought in a new partner to push forward £500 million of business space.
Horiba MIRA have signed a joint venture agreement with private equity investor Evans Randall Investors to be the exclusive developer for the next part of the MIRA Technology Park.
The first phase of the technology park is already well established over 850 acres with tenants including Aston Martin, Bentley, Bosch, Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota, and The London EV Company. It provides work for more than 1,000 skilled engineers.
Evans Randall Investors will now oversee the next phase of development, which will see it expand across two neighbouring sites on either side of the A5.
The project will deliver up to 4m sq ft of new space, with a potential value of up to £500m, encompassing R&D, office and industrial facilities.
A spokesman said existing planning is in place for the northern site within Leicestershire where development is well underway and where further construction is planned for later this year and into early 2022.
Horiba MIRA still needs planning consent to develop around 150 acres of land on the other southern side of the A5 in Warwickshire.
The main MIRA site – a former air base near Hinckley – is used to develop some of the latest advances in vehicle technology, from driverless cars to vehicles that can communicate wirelessly with one another.
MIRA said the technology park expansion plans were being fuelled by a revolution in mobility technologies spanning electric vehicle development, cleantech fuels such as hydrogen, emerging autonomous and connected car technologies and the associated growth of AI and robotics.
MIRA said Evans Randall Investors will lead the park’s expansion, solidifying its status as “Europe’s leading automotive R&D cluster” as well helping the business park attract businesses across the technology, advanced manufacturing and engineering sectors.
The team will work alongside Stratford-based development manager Swanvale Developments to deliver the scheme.
MIRA Technology Park managing director Tim Nathan said: “The automotive sector is at the beginning of profound technical and commercial change and MIRA Technology Park’s new association with Evans Randall Investors will enable us to capitalise on the market opportunities this revolution presents.
“This new partnership brings together our 75 years of automotive know-how reconfigured to support exciting next-generation automotive businesses alongside the capabilities of Evans Randall Investors to match this sector expertise with property solutions.
“Together we will enable the cluster at MTP to flourish and grow its stature as the pre-eminent location for the future of mobility in Europe.”
Ned Williams, managing director of Evans Randall Investors, said, “Our partnership with Horiba MIRA presents an exceptional opportunity to deliver a significant R&D development that will have a positive impact on the West Midlands, the UK and beyond.
“MIRA Technology Park will continue to be the destination of choice for automotive R&D and we are confident that the scale, cluster and flexibility of use and accommodation will be attractive to the wider occupier market.
“This joint venture is also a key step in our strategy to explore sustainability-focussed investment and development opportunities across the UK.”