If industrial and logistics parks have a life cycle, it has taken a remarkably short time for Prologis Park Ryton to come full circle. Since 1946, the site had been used continuously for car manufacturing until 2007, when PSA Peugeot Citroen closed its Peugeot 206 assembly plant. Prologis acquired the site the following year and by 2016, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has taken nearly 700,000 square foot of new space to accommodate its rapidly expanding business.
In 2014, JLR launched its Special Operations division and needed a building close to its existing sites for a new Special Vehicles Operations (SVO) Technical Centre. We were completing a 225,000 square foot speculative unit at Prologis Park Ryton and this proved to be the perfect fit. As John Edwards, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations said at the time:
“We are excited by the capability and potential that this new facility will give us. We will be creating truly iconic vehicles that reinforce the global reputation of both Jaguar and Land Rover brands as we expand our product portfolio and fulfil our ambitious plans.”
The centre is the company’s global hub for the creation of high end luxury bespoke commissions and high performance vehicles, such as the Range Rover Autobiography Black, Range Rover Sport SVR and the Jaguar Project 7. Following a £20 million fit-out, which includes a VIP commissioning suite and workshops inspired by Formula 1 manufacturing facilities, the special operations centre opened earlier this year.
At around the same time, JLR decided to take the two neighbouring units we were also building speculatively at Ryton. The larger of the two buildings, at 327,730 square foot, will become part of JLR’s growing manufacturing operation, while the 141,225 square foot unit, which is at the front of the site, will become the new headquarters for Jaguar Land Rover Classic.
Scheduled to open in 2017, the Jaguar Land Rover Classic will include a showroom for historic cars from the company’s Classic collection, where customers will be able to view and buy Jaguar and Land Rover Classic vehicles restored through programmes such as Land Rover ‘Reborn’.
One of the attractions of Prologis Park Ryton for JLR is that it is near its existing facilities, such as Brown’s Lane in Coventry, Whitley, Gaydon and Castle Bromwich. The West Midlands continues to be at the heart of British automotive manufacturing and we are pleased that our decision to build speculatively at Ryton has provided the facilities JLR needed to expand.
We are also delighted that in less than 10 years, our investment has brought motor manufacturing home to Ryton.