Bowers & Wilkins to open new UK facility
Bowers & Wilkins has announced that it is to open a new and larger R&D facility in the UK later this year.
The new owners of the British audio powerhouse Bowers & Wilkins have celebrated the deal by committing significant funds the relocation and expansion of its research and development centre.
The decision will see the manufacturer’s facilities move to a “Southwater Research & Engineering" centre (shortened to the “SRE” in tribute to its previous facilities, the Steyning Research Establishment), located in the town of Southwater in West Sussex in southern England. B&W stresses that the move reinforces its commitment to keeping manufacturing in the UK, and allows it to benefit from the latest “cutting-edge equipment and tools” when developing future products across the luxury home audio, headphone and performance car audio markets.
The facility will be more than twice the size of the original at nearly 2,750 sq m (30,000 sq ft) and will officially open its doors later this year. It will accommodate multiple anechoic chambers, an increased number of listening test rooms, a suite of product testing and engineering labs, and dedicated Headphone and Automotive Audio Labs.
B&W add that the Sussex facility will also benefit from a “near recreation” of the original listening room of founder John Bowers “to ensure that our sound remains true to his vision.” An additional experience centre will be introduced to showcase different product ranges to partners, press, and visitors.
“For more than 50 years, Bowers & Wilkins has been defined by cutting-edge acoustic technologies complemented by beautifully designed products,” commented Gideon Yu, executive chairman and CEO at Bowers & Wilkins.
“Inspired by John Bowers’ quest for what he called ‘True Sound’, our engineers are dedicated to honouring and continuing that legacy today. The new SRE is an extension of our rich sound engineering tradition. It is designed to further the mission of crafting products that deliver incredible sound experiences and beyond to our customers and consumers.”
In anticipation of the move, B&W states that it has already increased the size of its R&D team by 40% over the past two years and will continue to grow its engineering team following the facility’s opening later in 2018.