MALMESBURY’S biggest employer has announced proposals for a major expansion at its Tetbury Hill headquarters that is likely to create 3,000 new science and engineering jobs.

The£250 million development which would double the size of the current research and development facility, includes labs in four buildings, new recreation facilities and extra parking.

The firm currently employs around 1,800 at the site.

The provisional scheme will go on show in the town next month and will be discussed at the next town council planning meeting on Tuesday.

Founder James Dyson said: James Dyson said, “I arrived in Wiltshire with four engineering graduates, now 1,000 more have joined us.

“But to develop the advanced technology we need, 3,000 more highly skilled engineers and scientists are required. We hope to create the space for them here in Malmesbury, but with a shortfall of 61,000 engineers every year in the UK, finding them is difficult.”

Mayor John Gundry, who is part of the neighbourhood plan steering group, called the announcement marvellous news.

“Although we don’t have the final details, it would be unusual if there were not some pretty high class architecture.”

“It confirms Dyson’s presence here. They are not thinking of flitting away somewhere else.”

“They have been part of the neighbourhood plan,” he said. “The proposals for their expansion were built into the neighbourhood plan, which has just gone out for public consultation.”

Chairman of the town’s chamber of commerce Aimee Frankham said: “I’m really excited about it from a business point of view. It can only be positive for the town.

“It means that Dyson are here for the long term. They are investing a lot of money in the local area.”

As well as an element of job security for existing Dyson workers there was the potential for a lot more people living in the area.

She said given the 15 to 20-year time scale of the proposals, they would not have a bad effect on the infrastructure of the area.

She also praised the firm’s involvement in the steering group. “In a way I think the neighbourhood plan forced them into actually putting some plans down on paper.

“Having seen them, there is nothing I can see that is negative about them. It is all very carefully considered.”

Dyson has already suggested land near its headquarters and Persimmon could be turned into a business park. The chamber is hoping to meet Persimmon to discuss measures to attract more businesses to the site.

Dyson’s plans will go on show in a public exhibition at the town hall on February 3 between 3pm and 8pm. Tuesday’s planning meeting is open to the public and starts at 7pm.