Bicester Heritage is proud to unveil ‘The Command Works’, an extension to the historic former RAF Technical Site, comprising eight brand new buildings totalling 70,000 sq ft of business accommodation.
Occupying land which formerly lay derelict alongside Skimmingdish Lane, The Command Works was once the location of the Bomber Station’s ‘Works’ buildings, rail and coal yards and is situated behind the Station Headquarters, home of the Station Commander’s Office and Operations Block.
In keeping with its provenance, The Command Works is now destined to house a group of automotive industry powerhouses, with the next occupant to be announced soon. This landmark development represents the first new buildings to be constructed at Bicester Heritage in 84 years, when the RAF completed their expansion of the archetypal Bomber Training Station in 1936.
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.
Great care has been taken in the design and development of The Command Works to ensure it remains sympathetic to its historical environment whilst clearly defining the next chapter in Bicester Heritage’s journey by maintaining the clear juxtaposition of past and present. Bicester Heritage is proud to have delivered the project in just 18 months from unanimous planning approval to delivery of the first buildings, the practical completion will be achieved in mid-June 2020.
Jonty Ashworth, Property Development Manager at Bicester Motion, commented:
“The design seeks to provide a sense of continuity; not to mimic the past but to include references and design cues that will help the new buildings assimilate with their surroundings. The designs include a range of building forms that echo the existing structures whilst creating new ones that are unique in character. These have been influenced by the existing Technical Site and its 19 listed buildings which is itself now held as a national exemplar of constructive conservation by Historic England.”
With thanks to Buckingham Group Contracting and Ridge & Partners LLP, for bringing this project to life and without whom the build would not have been possible.
The Command Works will form part of the larger vision for Bicester Motion, Chief Executive Dan Geoghegan commented:
“Adding new buildings to a historic site is not a task to be undertaken lightly but the stunning result stands as a testament to the care and respect of all those involved in bringing The Command Works to fruition. Our thanks go to all who have contributed constructively to this regeneration project.”
“Having very carefully restored RAF Bicester’s ‘At Risk’ collection of Listed Buildings from the pinnacle of pre-war aviation endeavour, the completion of The Command Works marks a further step into the future of an estate that lay derelict just a few years ago. Already home to over 40 high-skilled employers brand new to Bicester, of which 35 are new to Oxfordshire, we look forward to adding more enterprise to our Centre of Excellence in the coming months.’