British military jet developer Aeralis lands at Aztec West

UK aerospace start-up AERALIS, which is seeking to develop the first fully British-crewed military jet since the 1970s, has signed a landmark deal at Aztec West in North Bristol.

The military aircraft developer has taken 5,607sq ft as its UK Enterprise Hub premises where it hopes to develop the new jet that can be tailored for a range of missions. AERALIS has a three-year research and development contract with Britain’s Royal Air Force to develop its aircraft as a potential successor to the BAE Systems Plc Hawk trainer and is also discussing opportunities with a number of other air forces.

The move to the extensively refurbished Aztec West unit further reinforces North Bristol’s reputation as the prime location for aerospace design and engineering in the region with notable occupiers including Rolls Royce, Atkins and the Ministry of Defence all nearby.

Jordan Spear, a surveyor at real estate adviser JLL’s Bristol office, which helped broker the deal, commented: “This important deal with AERALIS will enable them to continue to develop this ground-breaking new military jet in North Bristol, further reinforcing the area’s reputation as a key location for defence and aerospace companies, with so many already present in the area.

“Bristol and the wider region have experienced significantly improved industrial market conditions over the last 18-24 months. This has primarily been driven by a reduced supply of good quality stock, as a result of increased demand, fuelled by the economic recovery from the pandemic. This letting reiterates the strong occupier sentiment in the market which has allowed for substantial rental growth.”

AERALIS will benefit from excellent transport links at business park Aztec West, which is located next to the M4/M5 interchange.

Tom Cater of real estate advisors Gerald Eve represented the tenant in the lease transaction and commented:

“We are delighted to have secured this facility for our client, AERALIS Ltd. The unit provides the space required to expand their research and development at their new Enterprise Hub.

“The fact that we were able to identify the property, negotiate suitable terms incorporating the landlord’s works, so swiftly, was of paramount importance for our client in ensuring that they could meet the tight operational deadline. The focused approach, with assistance from Gerald Eve’s building surveying team, resulted in our client taking occupation and commencing their fit-out within their required timeline.”

Peloton Real Estate are the asset managers of Aztec West on behalf of Blackrock Industrial Trust and were represented by JLL in the deal. For further information and latest availability, please contact JLL or joint agents BNP Paribas Real Estate.