Lotus to create 125 jobs with new factory in Norwich

David Hewitt, Director of Operations, Group Lotus, Hethel, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

David Hewitt, Director of Operations, Group Lotus, Hethel, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

Car maker Lotus is set to open a new factory in Norwich in a boost to the city’s manufacturing industry which will create 125 jobs.

How the new Lotus factory will look. Pic: submitted

How the new Lotus factory will look. Pic: submitted - Credit: Archant

The manufacturing facility in Hurricane Way, Old Catton, will make the aluminium chassis parts for the Evora, Exige and Elise sports cars.

Lotus said the new factory marked a “significant new investment in Norwich and Norfolk”.

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council, said: “The potential of dozens of new jobs in the pipeline comes at a particularly welcome time as we continue to grapple with the effects of the pandemic.

“Lotus is a truly iconic brand, all over the world. But here in Norwich, and the county as a whole, we’ve long enjoyed a sense of local pride and ownership thanks to the business being based in different parts of the region for many years.”

Group Lotus, Hethel, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Group Lotus, Hethel, Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

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The factory will bring together Lotus’ steel fabrication unit which is currently situated in Vulcan Road, Norwich and its lightweight structures facility from Worcester in one, larger base. Fifty new roles are to be created initially with a further 75 planned.

Lotus' Evora 400

Lotus' Evora 400 - Credit: Lotus

The 12,300 m2 factory will also make alumiunium components for other global car companies.

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As Lotus’ expansion continues under owner Geely, it said it had outgrown existing facilities and by moving into a new location, it planned to upgrade machinery and tooling in readiness for new Lotus sportscars being launched in the future.

David Hewitt, executive director of operations, said: “Being located close to Lotus’ HQ in Hethel, Norfolk where all Lotus cars are assembled, will also benefit the business as we expand further into the future.”

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, which works with businesses, local authority partners and education institutions, and Norwich City Council helped secure the move.

Chris Starkie, chief executive of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership. Pic: Archant

Chris Starkie, chief executive of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership. Pic: Archant - Credit: Archant

Lotus’ current facility in Worcester will be re-purposed by the freeholder and the car maker will relocate from the facility in May 2021. Staff will be offered the opportunity to continue their roles in Norwich, where the company is recruiting for both the new Hurricane Way facility and Hethel HQ.

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council. Pic: Archant

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council. Pic: Archant - Credit: Archant

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