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Lotus contract win prompts factory move

BCW’s new facility at Wellingborough

A Midlands presence important to growth, says MD

A parts manufacturer supplying leading brands in the automotive sector has moved into new premises in Wellingborough.

BCW Manufacturing Group, based in Burnley, has taken a ten-year lease on the unit on the Park Farm Industrial Estate.

It is one of only a few facilities in the UK and Europe that is capable of anodising aluminium parts to the required high standard for structural bonding to be used in the automotive industry. BCW Manufacturing Group recently won the contract from Lotus Lightweight Structures – the previous tenant of the property – to take over the plant and continue supplying Lotus Cars as well as Aston Martin.

It will also service a growing demand from electric vehicles manufacturers and overseas markets.

In the early 2000s Lotus Lightweight Structures developed a strategic relationship with Aston Martin to construct an anodising process specifically to address bonding strengths and quality of anodized chassis parts. This resulted in Lotus signing an occupational lease for the facility at Wellingborough in 2009.

Before its acquisition by Lotus Lightweight Structures, the building was home to Sport Carrier, a specialist in luggage carrier systems and a Tier 1 supplier of aluminium power coated roof rails assemblies for Vauxhall Opel.

Taking the unit at Wellingborough will more than double BCW’s anodising capacity, said Claire Whelan, managing director of BCW’s parent company the Ansuka Group.

“This site is just the right fit for us and having a Midlands presence is strategically important to our long-term vision in BCW’s growth,” she added. “Wellingborough now enhances and strengthens BCW capabilities.”

BCW is taking on 20 employees already at the Wellingborough facility. The move grows BCW to more than 300 staff and gives it manufacturing premises in the UK of around 310,000 sq ft.

“We have been busy working to ensure the transition to BCW is as smooth as possible,” said Ms Whelan. “We have a fantastic team to help deliver this and we are looking forward to running the first programmes from the new site.

“Anodising is the perfect treatment for lightweight sports vehicles such as the Lotus Emira. We offer an aluminium anodising service of the highest standard, providing an end product for lightweight bonded aluminium structures where bond durability and corrosion resistance are equally critical. BCW offers added focus on enhanced sustainability of the anodising process, which this site delivers to.”

The site totals more than 3.5 acres. The facility itself is a secure, self-contained warehouse providing industrial and ancillary office accommodation which has been extensively fitted out by Lotus during its time in occupation with continuous technology updates.

Northampton-based property specialist Prop-Search, acting on behalf of the landlord, secured the letting of the 55,900 sq ft facility. BCW is a leading supplier of machined and treated parts for iconic brands such as Jaguar Land Rover, Perkins Diesel Engines, Aston Martin Lagonda, LEVC and Borg Warner.