Sensata appoints Turkington to build new £16.5m R&D centre

Computer generated impression of the technology centre Sensata plans to build in Newtownabbey.

CAR components manufacturer Sensata Technologies has appointed JH Turkington & Sons to build its new £16.5 million technology centre in Co Antrim.

The new research, testing and office space for Sensata’s engineering and software development teams, is expected to take two years to build at Global Point Business Park in Newtownabbey.

The project, which is still going through the planning process, is set to move to the community consultation phase this week.

Sensata said it will eventually accommodate between 450–500 employees and will complement the company’s existing Antrim work site.

It comes just two years after the US-owned company announced plans to close its Carrickfergus factory with the loss of 270 jobs.

A further 160 redundancies were later announced at its Antrim facility.

Sensata expanded into the north in late 2014 through the acquisition of Schrader Electronics.

The company said it has now adopted a new post-pandemic hybrid working pattern for its employees, with staff working two days from home and three days in the office.

Eric Sorret, automotive vice president at Sensata Technologies said: “We develop sensors which are fitted in cars, planes, HGVs and buildings. There could be more than 50 of our sensors in one car alone.

“Due to the nature of this work, we are constantly researching, testing and improving our product lines so we need to build facilities which combine offices for our support staff and effective research and development spaces for our design, testing and process engineering teams.

“We believe that the plans we are consulting on today are a good first step in our journey to develop a new workplace for many of our local employee.”

CGI of Sensata's new tech centre at Newtownabbey.

Gary Turkington at JH Turkington & Sons Ltd, said: “We have been challenged to create a workspace that will accommodate Sensata Technologies requirements for practical, technical spaces alongside open plan offices and private spaces for meetings.

“We welcome any feedback from the community on the plans. The pre-consultation community consultation which has been launched today will remain open until December 7 at 5pm.”

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