Bicester Motion’s plans for its £50 million, 212,030 sq ft Innovation Quarter have been given detailed consent by Cherwell District Council.
The seven-building quarter forms the forward-looking zone in Bicester Motion’s masterplan which received outline consent in March.
The 444-acre former RAF site, acquired in 2013, is home to more than 50 businesses, specialising in various forms of mobility technology, past, present and future.
Occupiers include NEOM McLaren Electric Racing, Motorsport UK, the governing body of British Motorsport, PhysicsX, Polestar’s UK HQ, and record-breaking synthetic fuel manufacturer Zero.
Phase 1 of the Innovation Quarter, due to start in Spring, will deliver the first two headquarter buildings, expected to complete in early 2025.
The carbon-efficient buildings will target BREEAM Excellent and EPC A ratings. Occupiers will have access to Bicester Motion’s annual programme of events, vehicle tracks and airfield for testing and demonstrations.
Chief executive Dan Geoghegan said: “We acquired the abandoned former WW2 RAF base in 2013 and since then have been creating the pre-eminent destination to experience the full breadth of automotive and aviation engineering, events, culture, design, research, and manufacture.
“Now home to more than 500 highly skilled jobs, from engineers carefully restoring the classics in our workshops to acclaimed national headquarters at the cutting edge of innovation, together with our amenities, track and aerodrome facilities, not to mention our regular fun-fuelled events with footfall of 200,000+ visitors per year, we’re a unique and thriving community.
“Since 2013 our purpose has been to create a place unlike any other to promote the development of pioneering technology especially, as you would expect, mobility and transportation. This sector is booming, with both start-ups and mainstream manufacturers racing to develop new technologies and transportation options.
“Today’s planning news is a significant milestone in our evolution to invest in and deliver our new Innovation Quarter. We are resolute in our focus to deliver a unique home and space for future innovating mobility pioneers, putting Bicester on the technology map, and boosting the economy in creating jobs both through construction and specifically within the future companies which join our thriving estate.”
Sebastian Johnson, head of innovation and inward investment for OxLEP, said: “Bicester Motion is a nationally and internationally significant centre for future mobility innovation and emerging technologies. OxLEP supports and recognises the talent and expertise and research capabilities at Bicester Motion and the opportunities to grow the cluster of companies and the innovation that will impact on net zero and sustainability in future mobility.
“Alongside the innovation is an impressive and well-developed skills offer for young and emerging talent and an amazing visitor experience attracting people nationally and internationally.”
Bicester Motion’s team on the Innovation Quarter includes 3D Reid, IKS Consulting Ltd, Hydrock, Mcgregor Smith, Ecology Solutions, Edgars, Worlledge Associates, and Mode.
Commercial leasing agents are Adalta Real and Bidwells.
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