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Further details of Lotus site regeneration unveiled, including creation of new jobs

PUBLISHED: 11:45 12 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:45 12 October 2018

An artists' impression of the new customer experience centre planned by Lotus at its Hethel headquarters. Picture: Feilden+Mawson.

An artists' impression of the new customer experience centre planned by Lotus at its Hethel headquarters. Picture: Feilden+Mawson.

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Plans to expand the base of heritage car manufacturer Lotus into a global destination for motoring fans will create 20 new jobs, it has been revealed.

Qingfeng Feng, left, chief executive at Lotus, with Clive Chapman, managing director of Classic Team Lotus, at the 70th anniversary of Lotus event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYQingfeng Feng, left, chief executive at Lotus, with Clive Chapman, managing director of Classic Team Lotus, at the 70th anniversary of Lotus event. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Hethel-based carmaker unveiled a multi-million pound expansion plan last month, which includes the addition of a heritage museum celebrating the 70-year history of the famous brand.

With the planning application now formally submitted, it can be revealed the museum and associated museum will create a 14 new job vacancies at the site - all full-time positions.

On top of this, the creation of a new customer base building will also create an additional six positions, also full-time posts.

Meanwhile, documents submitted with the application have revealed further details of just what the investment could mean for the future of the headquarters.

The design and access statement for the museum states it has been specifically designed to have large windows, to allow visitors not only to take in the vehicles on display inside, but also the surroundings.

It says: “The ratio of glazed to solid has been developed to maximise the connection between inside and out, to be able to view the landscape from within the building.

“This is important for the museums as the vehicles should predominantly be seen with landscape within their context.”

Even the near 4,000m/sq building itself has been designed with the brand in mind, with the inclusion of a canopy designed to create the look of the rear spoiler of a Lotus Evora car.

Speaking at the unveiling of the plans, Group Lotus’ chief executive Feng Quinqfeng said: “Hethel is, and will always be, the heart of Lotus and our plans are the next step in readying the site for the next 50 years.

“Hethel is rightly the centre of the brand and what better place for customers, aspiring owners and staff to experience our values?”

A 2,175m/sq ‘customer experience’ building meanwhile is to include a viewing platform overlooking the site’s famous test track, connected to the restaurant and museum via a 7.2m boulevard.

The plans have been submitted to South Norfolk Council in four individual applications, one for the museum and restaurant and another for experience base, with further applications to add a roof terrace and restructure on-site parking.

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