Contracts have been signed to commence construction on the next key phase of development at Bicester Heritage – a major extension of the Bicester Heritage Technical Site as part of the Bicester Motion Technical Cluster. The move follows the appointment of Northamptonshire-based Buckingham Group as the construction partner for the project which will be delivered in Q2 of 2020.
Thanks to the unanimous planning approval that the project has received from Cherwell District Council, the entire £10.4 million project has been comprehensively funded from the outset with the backing of Handelsbanken AB.
The commencement of works signifies an exciting new era in the history of the former RAF aerodrome with the first new-build development in more than 80 years.
Occupying land currently lying derelict alongside Skimmingdish Lane, formerly an active part of the RAF Bicester base, the New Technical Site will provide purpose-built units, allowing new businesses to join the thriving Bicester Heritage community in eight new buildings.
Built sympathetically and in keeping with their Grade II-listed surroundings, the new units – ranging in size from 5,000-17,000 ft2 – are expected to create a host of new skilled employment and training opportunities. More than 80% of the space has been pre-let in advance of the construction beginning and, with an extensive waiting list already in place for the remaining units, the New Technical Site has proved an immediate business success.
The design and arrangement of the New Technical Site, which received unanimous approval from the Cherwell District Council’s planning committee in December 2018, has been developed with a conservation-led approach. This ensures the respect of the site’s historic significance and the creation of new structures that are in keeping with the character and appearance of the wider development.