Central Bedfordshire Council has approved Marshall Aerospace’s Outline Planning Application (OPA) paving the way for the relocation of its UK headquarters to a new facility at Cranfield University.
The approval of the OPA validates the general principles of site development for the uses proposed by Marshall and enables the business to begin detailed design work for the first phase of its development at Cranfield in preparation for a Reserved Matters planning application.
“Today’s decision is an exciting milestone in the relocation of our UK Aerospace headquarters,” said Marshall Group CEO Kathy Jenkins. “Central Bedfordshire Council’s planning team and Cranfield University have been invaluable partners and supporters of our shared vision for the future of our Aerospace business.
“We are also very grateful to all the residents and representatives of local communities for their active engagement throughout the consultation process. As we work through the next level of detail with our partners and stakeholders, we will continue our dialogue with the local community to ensure we maximise the value of our presence in the region.”
Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Cranfield University, Professor Karen Holford CBE FREng, welcomed the news: “The relocation of Marshall Aerospace to Cranfield University will bring to the region new opportunities for collaboration in research and innovation, as well as raising the aspiration for skills development. The new state-of-the-art facilities will complement our university capabilities, particularly our global research airport, and further our work with industry and government.”
Once established in its new facility and running at capacity, the Aerospace business is expected to employ up to 1,200 people, many of whom will be involved in the skilled hands-on aircraft maintenance whilst other roles will cover a wide range of support and managerial areas.
The company’s existing Cambridge Airport site has been put forward for inclusion in the Greater Cambridge Local Plan; however, Marshall will continue to maintain a strong presence in Cambridgeshire, operating a number of its businesses from the area.