Dyson reveals expansion plans to the public

CONDITIONS are so cramped at Dyson’s Malmesbury headquarters that engineers are working in corridors, town councillors heard at a special presentation of the firm’s plans for expansion.

People are being recruited so fast demand for parking is also outstripping supply and the company has had to extend its temporary car park project manager Robert Hill told the planning committee on Tuesday.

The company revealed last week that it eventually wants to have a workforce of up to 3,000 people and new facilities including second research and development building, a separate customer care centre, a new cafeteria building and a sports complex that could be shared with schools and clubs during work hours.

Mr Hill said they had been working on the scheme for some time to come up with proposals that would meet the company’s own needs as well as the community’s.

He apologised to neighbours and businesses in Beuttell Way who have complained of Dyson workers regularly blocking access and said the scheme would add extra parking.

The team had also been in discussion with Wiltshire Council about making improvements, including roundabouts, to the junctions with Filands and the A429 where there are often long delays.

“We understand we cause a problem and we want to understand the extent of it,” he said. “We’re looking for solutions and Wiltshire Council is being supportive.”

The company has bought land south and west of its current site and a separate plot behind the Persimmon HQ which it hopes to develop in phases.

“We’re not proposing to do anything different to what we do today, we just want to do more of what we do today,” said Mr Hill. “We want to put down even firmer roots in Malmesbury.”

He stressed that not all the new jobs would be for engineers. There would be opportunities across the board.

At the moment Dyson employs around 1,700 in Malmesbury. “Considerably more than in our manufacturing days, considering we are still in the same building,” he pointed out.

“We are taking on average 20 to 30 people a month and we hope to keep that going. But we are hampered to a certain extent by available supply.”

Neighbour Debbie Caswell begged the company to take urgent action over staff who were parking on pavements and blocking access to businesses in Beuttell Way. She said the problems had been going on for months with little sign of action from Dyson.

Mr Hill said errant staff were being told to use the temporary car park. He asked: “Just give us a week or so.”

The proposals go on display in the town hall on Monday between 3pm and 8pm.

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