A ‘development framework’ has been unveiled which outlines how the long-term future of the Bentley factory in Crewe could look – supporting Bentley as a core component at the heart of Crewe’s economy.
Drawn up by Bentley Motors in consultation with Cheshire East Council, the framework provides the platform to deliver a modern, advanced manufacturing operation in the future which will be more efficient, secure and productive.
The ambition is to create a campus-style site which could potentially grow and expand in line with the company’s ambitions. The campus will be where manufacturing, design, research and development, engineering operations and boosted security ‘are fully integrated within a single site with seamless connectivity that enables the efficient flow of people, goods and services’.
Managed by Cheshire East Council’s arms-length Skills and Growth Company, with input from across the authority, the framework seeks to set out the important design, development and planning policy considerations which will be used in the determination of potential future planning applications relating to the Bentley site.
Bentley Motors’ aspirations for its expanded site would require the closure of parts of Pyms Lane and Sunnybank Road to the public. However, no decision has been taken on these proposals, which will form part of the consultation. Any future change to road access would require submission of a planning application and be subject to the normal planning consent process.
The council’s household waste recycling centre at Pyms Lane is also within the long-term ambition for the campus. There are no plans to close this centre and any future change to the facility would have to be consistent with the household waste and recycling requirements of Crewe and would require a future approval.
The framework will go before cabinet on December 6 for approval as a document for public consultation. Following a proposed six-week public consultation, running from January 3 to February 14, it is intended the document be reviewed and returned to cabinet for a decision.
Councillor Don Stockton, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Bentley Motors’ operation at the Pyms Lane site is of paramount importance to the local, regional and indeed national economies and we would welcome the views of residents and businesses on this future vision for Bentley in Crewe.
“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 £1billion 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, said: “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.”
Most of the land identified within the campus ‘vision’ is owned by the council and any change would be subject to detailed future negotiations.
As part of the masterplan public consultation, Bentley will host two drop-in events at its Pyms Lane offices.
● January 12, from 3pm to 8pm;
● January 14, from 10am to 2pm.
Cabinet will make a decision in spring 2017 on whether to endorse the masterplan, subject to the responses of the consultation.
Bentley Motors is an iconic and internationally recognised British brand that has been based at its Pyms Lane HQ for more than 70 years. It recruits more than 60 trainees each year, with around 85 per cent of these recruited from the Crewe area.