Boost for East Cambridgeshire economy as Thorlabs begins work on major new centre to open in 2020 on Lancaster Way Business Park, Ely
PUBLISHED: 11:45 10 May 2019
Alan Bennett 2019
A sod cutting ceremony marked the beginning of a new laboratory, production unit and research centre for fast expanding Thorlabs in Ely.
The ceremony and reception was to commemorate the ground breaking at its 100,000 sq ft hybrid building on the Lancaster Business Park in Ely.
It includes a flexible production layout and substantial office, laboratory and R&D facilities.
Due for completion in summer 2020, Thorlabs believes the new building will provide both a functional and attractive working environment for up to 500 employees "and accommodate increasingly complex and automated production processes".
The company believes the new building project also represents a significant investment and vote of confidence in UK manufacturing and will provide additional jobs in the local area
The event was attended by Cllr Alison Arnold, deputy mayor of Ely and members of Enterprise East Cambridgeshire.
Also present were representatives from neighbours Cambridge Commodities Ltd and Infiniti Graphics Ltd and Thorlabs staff members.
Representatives from project partners MJS Projects, DMA Architects, and Grovemere Property Ltd were also present.
General manager Keith Dhese began the day by sharing the important role Thorlabs plays as a global manufacturer of scientific components and systems in the photonics industry.
Cllr Arnold recognised Thorlabs as "a company which has grown while supporting the area".
She praised Thorlabs not just for the work they brought to the area "but also the support they give in taking part in local events for charities and holding in- house competitions for their own chosen charity".
Harvey Bibby from Grovemere Property spoke about upcoming additions to the Lancaster Way Business Park, in anticipation of 270 Thorlabs employees moving to the new location in 2020.
"The Apex Coffee House is under construction and should be serving tea, coffee and cake from the end of July 2019," he said.
"The coffee house is located adjacent to the Lancaster Lodge children's nursery, which can accommodate children up five years of age.
"We will be opening the trim trail this month and the Ely Zipper bus service will start servicing the park in November with 3 stops in the morning rush hour and 3 stops in the evening rush hour."
Thorlabs is a leading designer and manufacturer of photonics equipment for research, manufacturing, and biomedical applications.
Founded in 1989, Thorlabs is headquartered in Newton, New Jersey with over 1800 employees at manufacturing and sales offices in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden, Japan, China, and Brazil.
As a vertically integrated company they design, develop, and manufacture their product portfolio of over 20,000 items.