Raspberry Pi is to be manufactured in UK the for the first time, thanks to a multi-million pound deal with Sony UK Technology Centre and electronics distributor Premier Farnell.
The deal represents a major coup for the UK manufacturing industry and the British-designed Raspberry Pi, which to date has only been manufactured in China due to production costs.
Sony UK Tec’s manufacturing site will initially produce over 300,000 units for customers worldwide, which is expected to create up to 30 additional jobs.
The computer, which has been developed by the non-profit Raspberry Pi Foundation, aims to stimulate young people’s interest in programming.
“When Pete Lomas and I built the first Raspberry Pi’s for testing last year, we never dreamed it would become so popular so quickly,” said Eben Upton, co-founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
“The Raspberry Pi was built to develop young people’s skills in computer programming and electronic engineering; we had always intended and hoped that the Raspberry Pi would also be manufactured within the UK.
“By bringing the production of a UK product back into the country alongside its development and distribution, we can help support our economy and demonstrate the capabilities the UK has in terms of technological innovation, invention, and manufacturing.”
Mike Buffham, global head of EDE at Premier Farnell, added: “Since the Raspberry Pi was launched globally in February 2012 it has been a tremendous success story.
“As such we have had huge interest from educational institutions in purchasing the product, innovative design engineers who are using the computer for exciting new applications and also the general public.”
To assemble the Raspberry Pi, Sony UK Tec will be investing in additional equipment to fulfil the order requirements in order to cater for potential increases in demand.
Distributor Premier Farnell has been selling the credit card-sized computer since February this year in the UK and overseas.