£3.4M in funding secured for Digital Manufacturing Center at heart of UK motorsport

British engineering consultancy firm KW Special Projects (KWSP) has secured funding to establish a Digital Manufacturing Center in Silverstone Park, a developing technology business cluster near the home of the British Grand Prix. A 1,657 sqm facility, the center will provide SMEs with access to additive manufacturing equipment and professional guidance, developing an eco-system and knowledge share base for digital manufacturing.

A total of £3.4 million ($4.26 million USD) in Local Growth Fund money has been invested to establish the site and was provided by the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP).

“Our goal,” explains Kieron Salter, managing director at KWSP, “is to create a hub of engineering innovation that sees the best and most creative minds working side by side to develop the technologies of tomorrow.”

“This is a vision facilitated by SEMLEP, who has been instrumental in securing our funding through its Local Growth Fund, supporting businesses like KWSP in transforming visions into reality.”

At the heart of automotive innovation 

KWSP was founded in 2012 and has a strong background in providing engineering services to the motorsport industry. Offering a complete package of services the company supports clients through design, manufacturing, assembly and testing, as well as providing strategic and technical advice on a consultancy basis.

Headquartered in Brackley, Northamptonshire, the company’s primary premises are located adjacent to the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team facilities, and its case studies cover a breadth of vehicle restoration projects as well product development, and applications for the entertainment industry.

At the forthcoming Digital Manufacturing Centre, KWSP will continue to place itself at the center of automotive and sporting expertise. Silverstone Park, where the facility is to be located, is beside the Silverstone Circuit, offering businesses unparalleled access to state of the art track testing facilities. Building upon the engineering expertise that has grown as a result of the circuit’s renown, the site is also home to the Silverstone Technology Cluster which aims to attract high tech investment to region. Advanced engineering specialists, and additive manufacturing service providers such as Laser Lines and Mackart Additive, are also a part of this cluster. In 2018, the area also attracted startup company Uniti Sweden, which chose to establish a pilot production plant for its electric vehicles (EVs) within Silverstone Park. Incidentally, KWSP is one of Uniti’s partners and has been applying its additive manufacturing expertise to help the company in its R&D.

The Uniti One electric vehicle. Image via Uniti Sweden
KWSP has worked with Uniti One to help develop the Uniti One electric vehicle. Image via Uniti Sweden

A boost for the local economy 

In addition to the technological benefits of KWSP’s Digital Manufacturing Center, the facility is expected to contribute £9 million to the local economy, supporting growing businesses and creating 50 jobs in engineering. Hilary Chipping, Chief Executive of SEMLEP, comments “Working with innovative businesses like KWSP to make their ideas become reality is exactly what the makes the SEMLEP area the successful place it is today.”

“Businesses in this area remain at the cutting edge of digital technology. SEMLEP’s investment through our Local Growth Fund in the Digital Manufacturing Center is part of our work to strengthen the South East Midland’s position as the commercialization core of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and deliver on the commitments made in the Local Industrial Strategy.”

Digital rendering of the forthcoming KWSP Digital Manufacturing Center. Image via SEMLEP
Digital rendering of the forthcoming KWSP Digital Manufacturing Center. Image via SEMLEP

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Featured image shows a digital rendering of the forthcoming KWSP Digital Manufacturing Center. Image via SEMLEP