Aston Martin has begun construction of its new factory at St Athan in south Wales.
The plant, which reuses the ‘super hangars’ of the former MoD base on the site, will be the home of the new Aston Martin SUV, production of which is scheduled to begin in 2019.
Aston Martin symbolically marked the physical start of the project when contracts were exchanged between company CEO Dr Andy Palmer and Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones AM, finalising the sale of the site.
In February Aston Martin announced the selection of St Athan as its second manufacturing facility, choosing it from 20 potential locations across the globe. The plant is part of a £200 million investment by the company which has also seen a recruitment drive for 750 new employees to work at the new site – some of these are already training, building the Aston Martin DB11 at the brand’s existing Gaydon facility in Warwickshire.
Phase I of the build process involves the creation of the customer and staff reception areas, administration and management offices and the employee restaurant. Local Welsh firm TRJ Contracting has been selected to carry out this part of the project.
Phase II will commence in April 2017 when Aston Martin gains access to the three super hangars that will house the new manufacturing facility.
Dr Palmer describes the exchanging of the contract, giving first access to the St Athan facility, as a “milestone in our 103-year history”.
“Work now starts in earnest to turn our plans into reality – since taking the decision to build our first SUV in Wales we have been impressed with the commitment and approach from both the MOD and the Welsh Government in making this project work,” Dr Palmer says.