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Sensata seeks property developers for Newtownabbey hub

Tyre pressure monitoring company will lease the new sustainable build to house its R&D department


New build: an artist’s impression of what the Sensata R&D centre will look like

New build: an artist’s impression of what the Sensata R&D centre will look like

New build: an artist’s impression of what the Sensata R&D centre will look like

Global technology firm Sensata is seeking expressions of interest for the development its new centre in Newtownabbey.

The tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) specialist announced that it is seeking interest from potential property developers for the design and construction of its new Northern Ireland technology centre.

The Grade A office building, which is to be located at Global Point Business Park in Newtownabbey, will cover 61,500 sq ft across two floors, have 300 car parking spaces and offer flexible working space for 310 desks, with the option to expand in the future by up to 50%.

The firm is proposing to occupy the building through a lease with the successful developer. It will house a large R&D presence which will "attract top quality engineering talent".

Energy efficiency and sustainability will be a key focus in the design of the site.

The announcement comes 10 months after the firm revealed the closure of its Carrickfergus site with the loss of almost 300 jobs. It made that announcement in January citing a reduction in demand for the decision.

The company has 1,178 employees in NI. The Carrick site is to close early next year following a consultation with employees.

Sensata operates in 11 countries globally and has had a significant manufacturing and R&D presence in Northern Ireland since its 2014 acquisition of Schrader Electronics, which was founded in 1988.

Eric Sorret, VP for auto chassis and general manager in Northern Ireland for Sensata Technologies, said: "We are pleased to progress with plans for our new R&D hub in Co Antrim, further demonstrating our long-term commitment to NI. We will be reducing our office space at our current location as it is no longer fit for the requirements of an innovative working environment.

"We hope to build our talent pipeline by attracting highly skilled software developers and engineering specialists to join our new base in Global Point Business Park. As a company, we are moving beyond sensor components to providing data insights we can extract from our sensors; ensuring that we have the right talent to execute on our strategy will be imperative.

"Our R&D team will help to lead the way for the future of our global products, with a strong focus on sustainability. We are committed to business practices that are protective of the environment and this ethos will play a central role in the design of our new building, in our selection of a development partner and also in our ongoing product research."

Mr Sorret added: "We manufacture a range of TPMS in Northern Ireland and Sensata sensors are already being used to improve industrial pumps and to maximise fuel efficiency in cars and heavy off-road vehicles.

"As electric vehicles rise in popularity, they require sensors and data insights to monitor everything from battery systems to thermal management systems. We recognise that, despite the challenges of this year and the Covid-19 pandemic, opportunities exist for the future and we know that the talent we have found in Northern Ireland can help us to capitalise on these."

Belfast Telegraph