Daventry has been unveiled as the new house for an advanced engineering and manufacturing Centre of Excellence.

JRM, a business founded in 2007 and famed because of its international success on the racetrack, has received funding from South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) to increase and remodel one of its existing sites in Daventry.

Staff have previously started to migrate into the new centre, a DMG Mori 3D printer (an initial in the UK) has recently been installed and building jobs are set to begin on what will become the UK’s Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Low-carbon Automotive Technologies.

JRM Md Jason King said: “Our new Centre of Excellence can make us a market leader. We'll become a company able not just in design and manufacture products but also test and approve them within our Quality Control department.

“This means we'll bring together under one roof all our capabilities as an advanced engineering company and at the same time bring in new ones – for industries locally and oversees.

“Historically we've worked in the automotive sector using the likes of Jaguar, Subaru and Nissan. Continuing to move forward though we see no reason we can’t also break into the aerospace and medical sectors.”

It is a grant of more than £1.6million from SEMLEP’s Local Growth Fund which has enabled the company, which was previously spread across three sites – one in Bicester and two in Daventry – to consolidate and make one state-of-the-art centre in the town’s Rutherford Way.

Hilary Chipping, Chief Executive, SEMLEP, said: “This new Centre of Excellence will reinforce our reputation in the South East Midlands for innovative technical testing and automotive expertise.

“Our area’s strengths in this will become increasingly important as we try to enhance efficiencies in both accelerating adoption of new technologies and contributing towards achieving a net zero-carbon economy.

“We are delighted work has already started and confident this will be a centre that will not just benefit Daventry and Northamptonshire but the UK as a whole.”

JRM’s new Centre of Excellence will include:

  • A 3D printer, which has already been installed. This is currently the just one in the country and can swap quickly between a number of different materials, including titanium, aluminium, and steel. The printer can create low volume, high complexity items, such as a prototype for a Formula 1 car or perhaps an item for a classic car that cannot be bought elsewhere in the world.
  • A High Frequency Driver informed (HFDITL) rig, which will be in place by April next year. This is being built to Formula 1 standards, enabling manufacturers to research, and engineer new vehicle concepts and systems, as well as allow drivers to hone their racing skills in the e-world.
  • The Chassis Rig, for testing and developing full vehicle kinematic and compliance behaviour. The goal is to bring the first rig model to promote in 2021. It will initially be available as a JRM test facility resource and later will be made available for others to purchase. These rigs brings a high level of precision and accuracy, whilst being quiet, cost competitive and eliminating the requirement for environmentally unfriendly power sources for example hydraulics, which is currently favoured by traditional rigs.
  • JRM will even continue to work on their new ‘Celebration Car’ in the middle of Excellence, taking the Nissan GTR GT3 but completely re-engineering it to produce a short run and making it road legal.

Jason added: “We'll launch as a low volume vehicle manufacturer for the first time. We want to show that we are not just a race team, but that we are an expert all round engineering company.”

The Centre of Excellence will even include additional commercial incubation space for big and small businesses and the centre is going to be fitted with solar panels to provide at least 75% of the energy needs for the site.

Elliot Dason-Barber, Technical Director of JRM, added: “We've developed a sustainability plan which lays out our desire to become carbon neutral through the year 2025 and this year we will publish our decarbonisation strategy.”

JRM’s new premises includes electrical charging points, a 350kW solar farm and will retain the flexible hours that are presently a new norm during COVID-19, to reduce petrol consumption.

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