Millbrook's Leyland facility
By T Murrali| Jul 11, 2020

Millbrook Celebrates Twin Anniversaries

Millbrook’s Leyland facility that has been at the cutting-edge of commercial vehicle testing and development and also remained instrumental in helping to move the sector forward, is celebrating the 40th anniversary this year. It also coincides with another major milestone at Millbrook, with 2020 marking the 50th anniversary of the company’s Bedfordshire proving ground being opened.

Formerly known as Leyland Vehicles’ technical centre, it became the home for some of the best facilities in the world. For instance, the ground-breaking site boasted a test track specifically designed for commercial vehicles and a Semi-Anechoic Chamber. It also housed truly unique facilities and technologies for the time, including a structures laboratory with a 1.2 mega-watt pumping station and 1,000 tonn seismic block.

“Over weeks, the technical centre became a showcase for all that was good in the industry. Even back then, we hosted truck operators and dealership staff from all over the UK and Europe,” said, Kevin Gough, a recently retired Millbrook employee with 48 years of service.

Millbrook acquired the centre in July 2017 intending to expand its capabilities in propulsion and vehicle testing to better serve the commercial vehicle sector. The company retained the employees at the Lancashire base and immediately focused on growing the business further.

In the three years since Millbrook took ownership of the Leyland facility, it has invested significantly to ensure it has the latest technology and equipment. In 2019, for instance, two 3E Electric Drive Unit (EDU) test rigs were installed at the facility, bolstering Millbrook’s position as a leading global provider of electric driveline testing. These were supplied by Millbrook’s US team, which provides propulsion test systems to a global customer base. A new seat test laboratory has also been installed to test the durability and refinement of vehicle seats, extending existing capabilities.

“When Millbrook acquired the Leyland site in 2017, we knew we were adding a facility steeped in automotive heritage to our UK operations. We also knew that we were investing in a new dimension to our business, with huge potential for the future. Through strategic investment and a commitment to upholding the values of our Lancashire site, we are securing a very exciting future for Leyland,” said Alex Burns, President of Millbrook. (MT)


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