Royal seal of approval for new road-legal sports car manufactured by Peterborough's Radical Sportscars
The Duke of Gloucester has officially opened a new sports car production centre at a Peterborough engineering company.
The Duke declared open the manufacturing hub for Radical Sportscars' new road-legal model, the Rapture, during a visit to the company's headquarters in Ivatt Way.
The Royal seal of approval comes ahead of the car’s global launch, which will take place at the prestigious Goodwood Festival of Speed on July 4.
The Duke opened the Rapture Production Centre during a tour of Radical’s 40,000 square-foot premises, which have been the company's home for 22 years.
Accompanied by the Lord-Lieutenant for Cambridgeshire, Mrs Julie Spence, and Radical's chief executive Joe Anwyll, the Duke was shown the core sections of the business - the fabrication, composites, engine building and assembly areas.
He also met with department heads and spoke to five engineering apprentices amongst some of the 130 staff.
The tour culminated with The Duke unveiling a commemorative plaque marking the official opening of the Rapture Production Centre.
Over the last 22 years, the British marque has produced more than 2,200 road, track and race cars, making it one of the world's most successful sports racing car manufacturers.
Pride of place goes to Radical’s 1340cc, 182bhp SR1 sports prototype car, which has been exported across the world, with fleets delivered to the USA, Philippines, Israel, Poland and South Korea in the last 12 months alone.
Chief Designer, Nick Walford, who has designed every Radical since the company’s creation, was on-hand to give the Duke an insight into the firm’s technical advances and innovations.
He said: "The Rapture will be unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and will be solely designed, engineered and built in Peterborough - providing a timely boost for the British industry."
Darryl Roberts, Radical’s Operations Director, said: “There has been an air of excitement across the business since we knew the Duke of Gloucester would visit.
"His recognition of the in-house skills and capability of Radical is testament to our dedicated employee base. It was an inspiration for our team members and apprentices to have the opportunity to speak with him and share their expertise.
“Radical is enjoying a busy summer of activity across the globe.
"This visit has taken place in the same week as Radical Championship racing in Belgium and the USA, and just days away from the most important product launch for the company in over five years; that of the new Rapture open sportscar.
"It was an honour to have His Royal Highness officially open the Rapture Production Centre.”