Dyson to open second tech campus in Hullavington

image captionDyson is also setting up a university for engineering students in Wiltshire

A new multimillion-pound research and development centre is being opened in Wiltshire by Sir James Dyson.

The new tech campus will be based on a 517-acre former Ministry of Defence (MoD) site at Hullavington.

The vacuum and electronics company is aiming to double its workforce to about 7,000 in the next five or six years.

Sir James said: "After 25 years of UK growth, and continuing expansion globally, we are fast outgrowing our Malmesbury Campus."

'Global hub'

The company's headquarters are based in Malmesbury in the Cotswolds.

"The 517-acre Hullavington Campus is an investment for our future, creating a global hub for our research and development endeavours.

"It will enable us to continue creating world-class products and jobs right here in the Cotswolds," he said.

media caption"We've grown so fast over the last four years," says Sir James Dyson

In September, Sir James announced plans to launch the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology - a new university based in Malmesbury.

Earlier in February, the company opened a technology centre in Singapore.

Sir James, a prominent Brexit campaigner, said the company's plans were not affected by the UK's decision to leave the European Union. He added the vote was a "minor event" in a company's life.

"As a company, you do what you do, you invest in your future and you carry on doing it. Brexit's got nothing to do with it."

Dyson already has two sites in the UK - its Malmesbury HQ and a Bristol software hub.

Dyson has not disclosed how much will be invested in the Hullavington site, but the group has pledged to pump £2.5bn into future technologies and currently spends £7m a week on R&D.

Hangars restored

Sir James added: "To win in the world stage you have to develop new technology and develop great products and that's what we're doing here.

"Because we're able to do this successfully, we're able to export our products all around the world and enjoy the really fast expanding markets that exist in the Far East."

No information has been released from Dyson about what will be developed at Hullavington.

Mayor of Malmesbury, Wayne Jones said: "He bought a battery company a couple of years ago so there is talk it will involve some sort of battery production or vehicle production.

"My gut feeling is he'll go down the electric car route.

Site preparations for the first stage of the Hullavington campus will begin next week and hangars at the MoD site will be restored from May onwards.

It is hoped that the hangars will be in use by the end of the year.

The site was originally an RAF training station, first opened in 1937, but has been largely inactive since the mid-1990s and was one of 12 put up for sale by the MoD in January 2016.

image captionIt is hoped the two hangars at Hullavington airfield will be developed by the end of the year

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