Derby aero engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has announced major plans to modernise its city operations, which could eventually include a new “aerospace campus”.
The firm has said it wants to invest “significantly” in its civil aerospace division at Sinfin, replacing ageing buildings that date back to the 1940s with brand new ones.
The company wants to site the new buildings on a brand new campus at Sinfin, while also making improvements to the road network.
As a first step, the firm is proposing to move Victory Road so that instead of running through the centre of the Rolls-Royce site it will run around the north-eastern edge, connecting Merrill Way to Moor Lane.
This will enable the firm to re-design large areas of its site to create the aerospace campus, which would be similar to ones Rolls-Royce already has in Bristol and in other countries such as the US and Singapore.
If the company receives all the relevant planning permissions from Derby City Council, it hopes that work on a new road will start in 2016, with the new campus taking shape in 2017/2018.
A Rolls-Royce spokesman said:
“We are proposing changes to our main site in Derby.
“Some of the buildings on our main Derby site are many years old and no longer fit for purpose.
“We need to modernise our facilities to help us continue to be competitive and continue to meet the needs of our customers.
“This is a long-term programme and as a first step, we are proposing to move Victory Road in order that we can look to create a campus.
“This will create a stimulating and efficient working environment which enables us to work more flexibly, fosters innovation and attracts and retains the right people.
“Our wider plans for a campus are at an early stage in their development and as they evolve we’ll share more details.”
The news is yet another sign that Rolls-Royce is committed to Derby for the long term.
In November, after the firm announced that it was planning to shed 300 jobs at Derby over the next 18 months, fears emerged that Rolls-Royce might be considering its future in the city.
Rolls-Royce is Derby’s largest private sector employer – with around 10,000 people based at Sinfin alone.
But last month, the company announced that Derby had been chosen as the main production hub of the Trent XWB engine, which has been billed as the world’s most efficient wide-body engine.
The XWB, which will exclusively power the Airbus A350 aircraft, is the fastest-selling Trent engine ever.
And Rolls-Royce has invested £30 million in the Derby site to expand its production facilities so it can deliver a huge list of XWB orders, with 40 customers ordering a combined total of more than 1,500 engines.
Rolls-Royce has been in Derby since 1906 – and it first bought land at Sinfin in 1914. Today, the Rolls-Royce site covers 300 acres.