Search

Crunch talks underway at Caterham to decide Norfolk firm’s future

09:25 26 November 2014

Tony Fernandes. Picture: Press Association

Tony Fernandes. Picture: Press Association

PA Wire

Bosses at automotive group Caterham are locked in crunch talks to determine the fate of its business in Norfolk, the EDP understands.

An artist's impression of the proposed expansion of Caterham Cars at HinghamAn artist's impression of the proposed expansion of Caterham Cars at Hingham

Uncertainty has surrounded the company since Tony Fernandes sold Caterham F1 in July, sparking questions as to whether or not he would walk away from its Hingham-based engineering and development centre, which employs 68 people.

However,in a short statement, the firm insisted that it was business as usual “at this time.”

The mood is far cry from the positive outlook from more than a year ago when the it outlined a bold vision to create a new production plant and 130 jobs at Hingham.

Since then, Caterham Technology and Innovation (CTI) has seen a deal to build a new mid-engined Alpine sports car with Renault break down, calling time on a 19-month partnership.

Simon Coward, director of the Hethel Engineering Centre, near Wymondham, said Norfolk’s automotive industry had been “somewhat turbulent”, but it was important to keep supporting the sector.

“Engineering and manufacturing businesses make up nearly 10pc of Norfolk’s workforce and generates more than 13pc of Norfolk’s gross value added. So supporting engineering and manufacturing businesses in Norfolk is vital.”

CTI revealed a two-year plan in September last year to create a new production plant in Norfolk, which would play a key role in delivering the next generation of Caterham Cars.

The announcement was later followed by a letter from Norfolk MPs George Freeman and Richard Bacon, urging business secretary Vince Cable to free up £5m to help Caterham move its factory in Dartford to Hingham – or risk losing the operation to France

But while Caterham admitted it was seeking funding from the government, it quashed claims that it was planning to move its operation overseas, stating that it was committed to its UK-based workforce.

Peter Eldridge, chairman of Hingham Town Council, said: “We would love Caterham to stay in Hingham because it brings a lot of kudos to the town and high-quality engineering jobs. We hope they will carry on.”

• Do you have a business story for the Eastern Daily Press? Contact business editor Ben Woods on 01603 772426 or email ben.woods@archant.co.uk

1 comment

  • I have to say, Archants ability to make up a story from very little is amazing, there is very little connection between Caterham F1 and the Caterham car maker, but lets not allow the truth to get in the way of a good story, when we can load a bit of worry onto working class people like you did to the Aviva staff last week.

    Report this comment

    parkeg1

    Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Other news

The pirate themed Wymondham Carnival procession makes its way through the town. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

It was all plain sailing for a market town carnival as the pirate themed event drew record crowds.

Yesterday, 08:00
EDP Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards 2015 at St Andrews Hall, Norwich. Special Recognition Award winners  the Norfolk D-Day Veterans. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Whether young, old or somewhere in between, everybody has the opportunity to contribute to our community and help make it a better place to live.

Thu, 14:13
The grass covered car going for auction in Wymondham. Picture  East Anglian Motor Auctions

A Volvo V40 covered in artificial grass to emulate a golf course is to go on auction in Wymondham to raise money for the East Anglia’s Children Hospice (EACH).

Thu, 11:35
Breckland Council is running a programme of sports and games for children over the summer holidays.

A programme of summer activities gets underway today to give youngsters in Breckland a chance to take part in a range of sports and games during the school holidays.

Most Read

Thursday, February 27, 2014
Melsop Farm Park owner Keith Stone is set to apply for a Zoo licence.
Photo: Nick Butcher
Copy: Celia Wigg
For:  EDP
Archant © 2005
(01603) 772434

The owner of a popular Norfolk petting farm has been fined for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and failing to dispose of animal carcasses properly.

Read more
Sunday, July 19, 2015
Scenes from the Bodney Camp Open Day, with visitors getting the chance to see up close the Household Cavalry. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Thousands of people have been given a chance to get up close to one of the most famous units of the British Army at a thank you event in Norfolk.

Read more
London
Wednesday, July 14, 2010

THE Queen's ceremonial guards have been forced to cancel their annual Norfolk open day because of a date clash with a long-running agricultural show.

Read more
The Iceni Centre closes. Picture: Matthew Usher.

An attempt to revive a Breckland heritage site has failed after dwindling visitor numbers forced the owners to close the attraction.

Read more
Fri, 18:00
Cranswick Country Foods in Watton. Picture; Matthew Usher.

Plans to remove up to 20 streetlights from outside a busy factory car park, which councillors argued could put lives at risk, have been dropped.

Read more
County Council

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 18°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up