17:40 November 26, 2021
Construction of a £ 4million aviation safety test facility at Hingham has started.
Mirus Aircraft Seating held a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, November 26 to officially launch construction of the new center at its current 2,500 m² site.
The new facility will be used to test the safety of seats used in airliners. It is the largest of its kind in the UK and represents a significant investment for Norfolk’s growing aviation industry.
Mirus, which was founded in 2015, will now see its headquarters expanded by 407 m² with a £ 250,000 grant from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Growing Business Fund.
The company currently works with Airbus, TUI Group and AirAsia and has sold over 100,000 of its flagship Hawk seats.
CEO Ben McGuire, who has worked in the auto industry before, notably with Tesla and General Motors, said: As Norfolk is put on the map in the aviation industry, as it will compete with some of the best facilities across Europe. “
The facility, slated to open by summer 2022, will feature a state-of-the-art dynamic test sled used for crash testing.
Mr McGuire has “global ambitions” and said the facility will bring 13 additional jobs to the current team of 50.
He said the industry had been hit hard in the wake of the pandemic and had to lose 50% of its workforce as a result.
Speaking about the importance of the business, he said: “This is much more important than people realize, at the moment there are two commercially available test facilities in the UK.
“We will be the largest test facility available in the UK.
“It’s a pretty big statement to have this level of engineering and expertise in this region.”
Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman was among those gathered for the ceremony on Friday and praised the company for doing “something extraordinary”.
He said: “The nation of innovation means more of these things are happening.
“It’s the key to the UK economy, it starts here, locally.
“We have brilliant innovation, here we have an engineering group with fat fingers and a digital focus. “
Peter Eldridge, chairman of Hingham City Council, said he hopes the expansion will provide opportunities for young people.
The site will also be available to other companies and industries that need testing services.
Mirus has launched a recruitment campaign to hire technical, engineering and support positions to join them in the management of the facility.