Bicester Motion has let 80 per cent of The Command Works, the new 77,000 sq ft extension to its existing technical site – ahead of practical completion this month.
The 444-acre site has continued to undergo a massive transformation since the disused RAF airfield was first reborn as an automotive park in 2014 with its historical section, Bicester Heritage.
Thames Tap was allowed a socially-distanced look around just as the many of the Bicester Heritage businesses made their first moves back to work as lockdown eased.
Since the site began its new life, many of the former RAF buildings have been renovated and restored and some are now home to around 50 firms, largely dedicated to the restoration of classic vehicles, an area known as the technical site.
However, demand for space has been remarkable and work on eight additional buildings, which form The Command Works, is due to complete this summer. After fitting out, occupation will start before the end of 2020.
The new buildings are designed in a way that reflects the site’s roots but serves the requirements of the specialist firms restoring classic vehicles.
The largest of Bicester Motion’s four hangers is currently a temporary base for Salute the NHS, where food parcels are prepared and delivered to hospitals for NHS staff. In the past it has been used for anything from a film studio to a conference venue.
Also within Bicetser Heritage, work on a 200-room hotel along with conference facilities starts later this year as Bicester Motion seeks to create a venue other providers would struggle to match.
In the pipeline is a planning application for a new innovation quarter, known as FAST (Future Automotive Speed and Technology). If approved work may start later this year.
It will be home to pioneering development in fields such as electric and driverless vehicles and high-performance design and engineering along with automotive and motorsport technology will feature.
In addition, it is anticipated there will be an incubator for start-ups in the field of cutting- edge motoring technology.
Conference visitors and tourists will be able to observe the past and the future of motoring in a venue unlike anywhere currently on offer.
In addition Bicester Motion’s vision and masterplan includes a nature reserve and wellbeing zone and opportunities for on and off-road driver experiences.
Its calendar of events is already attracting around 50,000 people a year, and following lockdown, some of this year’s have been rescheduled to start again in October.
As well as being home to a cluster of specialist automotive businesses, Bicester Motion aims to be a workplace for 2,000 skilled workers and a top 20 UK tourist destination.
Top: The Kingsbury Racing Shop.
The gallery shows buildings in the new Command Works and a D type Jaguar.
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