Raytheon is ploughing £25 million into boosting its presence in the UK and creating a Technology Centre of Excellence expected to generate more than 100 high-skilled jobs. The transfer of Raytheon UK headquarters to Harlow's modern Kao Park Enterprise Zone is part of the company's growing investment in technology, design and innovation.
"This announcement marks a new era for Raytheon in Harlow, where the company has significantly contributed to the economy for more than 50 years," said Richard Daniel, Raytheon UK chief executive officer. "The new facility gives us tremendous potential and will become our main technology centre in the United Kingdom for the design and development of some of the nation's most advanced defence capabilities."
Raytheon UK is a major contributor to the Essex economy through exports, the supply chain and skills development. The company's Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education programme includes its annual Quadcopter Challenge competition for local schools and curriculum guidance to Harlow's University Technical College. Raytheon has a well-established graduate development programme and may introduce its apprenticeships scheme to Harlow.
Raytheon's ongoing commitment to the area is essential, said Robert Halfon, member of Parliament for Harlow, Hastingwood, Matching, Nazeing, Roydon and Sheering. "I am incredibly proud that a world-leading tech company like Raytheon is investing millions of pounds in Harlow," Halfon said. "Over the years, Raytheon has brought thousands of jobs and millions of pounds of investment, and supported skills and expertise in our town. This latest investment is a credit to Raytheon and a huge thumbs-up for Harlow as the leading place for business, science, technology and jobs."
Engineering, manufacturing and technology innovation are the keys to expanding Raytheon UK's local presence, as is its ability to recruit the right people. At present, Raytheon UK has 150 live vacancies across various functions. The company expects its 55,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility to create the potential to add 120 more positions to the existing 380 Harlow-based employees.
"The company has really helped to place Harlow on the map for advanced technology," said Halfon. "The facility in Harlow has provided the world with leading technology in air traffic management systems in more than 40 countries, and it has helped to design secure information and intelligence systems in software development for our forces. This latest investment further boosts Harlow's status as an Enterprise Zone for future innovations in design, manufacturing and engineering. The UK is open for business. I welcome this announcement."
The Kao Park science and technology business campus and data centre is expected to be completed mid-2016, with Raytheon UK and Arrow Electronics being the first global high-tech occupants.
"This is fantastic news for both the Enterprise Zone and for Harlow as a whole, for Essex and the UK in terms of inward investment," said local Councillor Tony Durcan, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Enterprise. "The fact that these two major international companies want to stay in Harlow and expand their UK operations here shows what a great place Harlow is to do business and the huge potential that is being fulfilled at the Enterprise Zone...We hope that many more organisations will follow in the footsteps of Raytheon and Arrow Electronics.
"In addition, the opportunities for new job creation and skills development are really exciting for the local community, and something which is a big priority for the Council."
"For Raytheon, it is about growing indigenous capability in research, design and development and leveraging our own investment in science and engineering," said Raytheon’s Richard Daniel. "Industry at all levels, academia and government must work collaboratively to create the right environment for the UK to prosper. We must exploit our competitive advantage in order to drive overseas trade growth, as well as inwards investment into the UK."