Rolls-Royce plant takes shape

Building work is well underway at the new Rolls-Royce Motor Cars' premises SUS-150127-104438001
Building work is well underway at the new Rolls-Royce Motor Cars' premises SUS-150127-104438001

ROLLS-ROYCE Motor Cars is a year away from opening its new £70m centre.

The technology and logistics centre is set to start operating in early 2016 in North Bersted.

C140856-2 Bog Sept4Rolls phot kate'Barry Jones with his 1973 Rolls Royce.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C140856-2 SUS-140209-162031001

C140856-2 Bog Sept4Rolls phot kate'Barry Jones with his 1973 Rolls Royce.Picture by Kate Shemilt.C140856-2 SUS-140209-162031001

A company spokesman said: “Everything is on schedule.

“The earthworks are well underway and the piling has started.”

The 30,000sqm centre, at Oldlands Farm, will have three functions – as an inbound warehouse for production parts, a distribution centre and a finished car store, and as a workshop for car preparation. It will provide employment for 200 people and its cost was put at £70m in the planning application,

It will support the Rolls-Royce headquarters at Goodwood where some 1,500 people work.

As reported, the plant forms the centrepiece of current Enterprise Bognor Regis initiative to provide new jobs in the town.

Owner of a Rolls-Royce Barry Jones has welcomed the company’s impending arrival.

He says his car is more comfortable than the sofa in his Bognor Regis home.

Mr Jones, of Victoria Drive, bought his 1973 Silver Shadow about 12 years ago.

He is still enjoying the sensation of driving one of the most famous cars in the world.

He said he luxuriated in its seats every time he sat behind the steering wheel.

“You can move the seats any way you want and get them just how you want them.

“After most long journeys, you can’t wait to get out of your car. But I never want to get out of my Rolls.

“If I could fix up a TV in there, I would stay there when I get home because it’s more comfortable than on my couch.”

The seats are upholstered in cloth and match the car’s deep burgundy colour scheme.

Mr Jones said there was a chance the car was made as a back-up for one ordered by Princess Margaret in the same shade but he had no proof.

Regardless of any royal link, the car lived up to its billing as a star of the road, he said.

Mr Jones recently joined with other RR owners on an enthusiasts’ club outing to Devon. This followed earlier journeys with them to the Isle of Man and Austria.

The aura of a Rolls was just as evident in the European country as elsewhere. A couple with a Mercedes parked their car elsewhere because they didn’t want to lower the tone of a car park full of shining Rolls Royces.

Mr Jones got his first taste of life with the famous marque when he drove his father’s RR, a 20/25 model, about 60 years ago for about a year. There then followed a succession of other makes – Citroen and Alvis among them – before he was re-united with a Rolls.

“People love the car,” said Mr Jones, 80, of Victoria Drive. “They always let you pull out at T-junctions because they like to see the car go past. It’s the same when cars need to give way. They always let the Rolls through. I can’t really explain why but it’s one of the pleasures of owning the car.”

Financially, fully comprehensive insurance at £121 a year is a bonus.

“I asked them how it could be so cheap and was told nobody crashes a Rolls,” he said.

But the savings there are wiped out on the fuel consumption. Steady driving still sees the mpg drop to 12-15.

“Filling up the 25 gallon tank costs £300 a time,” said Mr Jones. “I would guess the mileage would be down to around ten if you really put your foot down.”