German farm machinery manufacturer CLAAS opens new £20m HQ in Suffolk
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German agricultural machinery manufacturer CLAAS has underlined its commitment to the UK market with the unveiling of its new £20 million headquarters in Suffolk.
Following three years of construction work, during which time the headquarters site for CLAAS UK and dealer MANNS has been completely redeveloped, the new facility was officially opened on October 16 by Cathrina Claas-Mühlhäuser, chairwoman of the Harsewinkel-based firm’s supervisory board.
Work on the redevelopment of the site, at the centre of which is an impressive new 33,000m2 state-of-the-art headquarters building, commenced in November 2017. Construction work has been carried out in phases to enable day-to-day work for the 130 people employed on the site to continue with the least possible disruption. The new state-of-the-art facility makes use of the latest energy-efficient systems in order to minimise its environmental impact
“By supporting this major redevelopment and impressive new building, both the CLAAS Group and the Claas family have shown their commitment to CLAAS dealers, their customers and UK agriculture as a whole, and also to Bury St Edmunds and West Suffolk where we are now one of the largest employers,” said Trevor Tyrrell, Senior Vice-President (Western Europe & Oceania) for the CLAAS Group’s Sales and Service division.
The new 16.5 metre-high building – which occupies a prominent position by the A14 and is also the headquarters of CLAAS’s East Anglia dealer MANNS – was designed by BCR Infinity Architects of Cambridge and built by R G Carter Ltd. It serves as the headquarters for both companies.
In addition to corporate offices, the design also incorporates a machinery showroom, a workshop complex for MANNS and a 4,336m2 parts warehouse for CLAAS UK. The Saxham site is also home to the CLAAS Academy, which provides industry-leading training for dealer sales, service and parts staff
The CLAAS Group – which has a turnover of about £3.45bn – was founded more than 100 years ago and is still privately owned by the Claas family. It is one of the largest family-owned agricultural machinery manufacturers in the world, with 14 manufacturing plants making combine harvesters and forager harvesters around the globe employing more than 11,400 people.