Greater Brighton leaders have praised a local engineering firm Ricardo for driving forward the push to cut carbon emissions in transport across the globe.

Having been founded in Shoreham over a century ago by Sir Harry Ricardo, the company is a global, multi-industry, multi-discipline consultancy and niche manufacture of high performance products focused on maximising efficiency.

The company has 3,000 staff around the world, 700 of whom work from Shoreham Technical Centre the headquarters on the banks of the River Adur in West Sussex,

Greater Brighton delegates had the chance to see this work during a tour of the global engineering, environmental and strategic consultancy firm earlier this month.

Delegates praised the company for investing in the area and creating skilled jobs, which are helping support the growth of the advanced engineering sector in the wider City Region.

Cllr Daniel Humphreys, who is chairman of Greater Brighton, said:

“One of the big things that’s stuck out from my visit to Ricardo is the really innovative work they are doing in driving forward the sustainability agenda.”

“We are seeing some massive leaps forward in cleaner, more efficient use of energy going forward – and it’s in part due to the work being done on this site in the heart of Greater Brighton. How fantastic that the ideas and innovation to clean up the engines in the future that we’ll be using to get around is being done here in the City Region.”

“Companies like Ricardo make an enormous contribution to the local economy too with 700 people working here on this site, many in high-skilled jobs for people who live locally and who have been trained locally through our excellent further education and university providers.”

Among the areas showcased during the visit was a new hybrid powertrain centre, which is part funded by Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership through Greater Brighton. Currently under construction, the funding has enabled the repurposing of an existing building which will be dedicated to testing battery technology essential for original equipment manufacturers who are developing future electric and hybrid vehicles.

The tour also included a look around the Vehicle Emissions Research Centre, which is a world-class facility that is helping create the next-generation of clean, low carbon vehicles. The facility, which is open 24/7 and can be configured to work in a range of conditions, was supported by a £3.5 million grant from the UK Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

Ricardo is well known for its manufacturing of high-quality engineered products, from motorsports driveline systems to aerospace components. Engine production by Ricardo in recent years has served a total over 20 major automakers and engine suppliers, providing everything from prototypes through pre-production units, to niche volume series production of high-performance products.

Dave Shemmans, Chief Executive Officer of Ricardo, said:

“Ricardo has been on this site for over 100 years – it’s where Harry Ricardo set up the business back in 1915 making engines for local fishermen. A century on, we are still designing advanced engineering products for cars, rail and aerospace, so we are very much keeping to the heritage of the business.”

“A prime aim of our work is looking towards our net zero strategy and we think other companies, governments and local cities should be doing the same.”

“Greater Brighton is a great place to do business. The infrastructure here is very good with good road and air networks. Clients obviously love visiting Brighton. It’s a great place to be based.”

Cllr Daniel Humphreys, Chairman of Greater Brighton, and Andrew Swayne, of Ricardo, overlook the company’s engine production line
Cllr Daniel Humphreys, Chairman of Greater Brighton, with Dave Shemmans, Chief Executive Officer of Ricardo
The Chairman of Greater Brighton was shown around the Vehicle Emissions Research Centre on the tour