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  • Cheshire East Council, Crewe, Bentley, Bentley Motors

Bentley Motors’ Crewe expansion ambitions revealed

Bentley Motors’ ambitions for a campus-style advanced manufacturing site in Crewe have been unveiled in a new development framework.

The firm, which is the Cheshire town’s single largest employer, is looking to invest in a more efficient, secure and productive site as it sets out its long-term vision for the area.

The framework, drawn up by Bentley Motors in consultation with Cheshire East Council, will go before the local authority’s cabinet on 6 December and, if approved, will be the subject of a six-week public consultation from 3 January to 14 February 2017.

To achieve Bentley Motors’ aspirations for the expanded site, which would provide a home for manufacturing, design, research and development and engineering operations as well as boosted security, the company would need to close parts of the area’s Pyms Lane and Sunnybank Road to the public. This would form part of the public consultation and any changes to road access in the future would be subject to the planning process.

The council’s Pyms Lane household waste recycling centre is also within the long-term campus vision, although Cheshire East Council says there are no plans to close the centre.

Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for regeneration, says: “More than 4,000 people are employed directly by the company, which provides many apprenticeship opportunities locally. It is also Crewe’s largest single employer, accounting for more than £1 billion of UK exports each year.

“Alongside these benefits and its support for the creation of Crewe University Technical College, more than 80 of Bentley’s suppliers are located within 50 miles of the site, which subsequently benefits local businesses.

“This draft development framework seeks to show how Bentley’s long-term aspirations align with the council’s wider ambitions for growth and the regeneration in Crewe in the light of the opportunities afforded by HS2. By providing a clear potential future site boundary, the framework gives increased clarity between Bentley’s future growth ambitions and other developments locally.”

Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors, adds: “This development framework represents a long-term vision for what our factory could look like in the future, based on successfully achieving all of our business objectives over the coming years.

“It is vital that we plan for the long-term future of our business as we look to evolve our headquarters into industry-leading facilities within a single site.”

Bentley Motors will hold drop-in events on 12 and 14 January in the new year at its Pyms Lane offices as part of the public consultation of the masterplan, which would affect mainly council-owned land.

Cabinet will make a decision in spring 2017 on whether to endorse the masterplan, subject to the responses of the consultation.