Bristol’s Horizon38 attracts £32m GKN Aerospace Global Technology Centre

Horizon38 in Bristol, a development by MSF Filton Ltd, has been announced as the location for the new £32m GKN Aerospace Global Technology Centre.

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, and the Chief Executive of GKN Aerospace, Hans Büthker unveiled plans last week for GKN Aerospace’s new Global Technology Centre in the UK. The new centre is funded by a £17m commitment from GKN Aerospace and a £15m commitment from the UK Government, through the Aerospace Technology Institute.

The Global Technology Centre at Horizon38, which is expected to open in 2020, will be leased to GKN Aerospace on completion and will extend to 117,000 sq ft (10,872 sq m) on a site of 7.3 acres fronting onto the A38 in North Bristol. It will consist of 46,252 sq ft of Grade A office space over four floors and a research and development area of another 67,188 sq ft in two distinct areas, with an emphasis on the provision of an inspiring high-quality working environment.

Gareth Williams, Director of MSF Filton, a joint venture between St Francis Group and Marcol, says: “We are delighted to be working with GKN to deliver such a high-quality cutting-edge facility at Horizon38. With the site’s history in the engineering and aerospace industry, it feels right and proper to be on the verge of welcoming to this site an investor in innovative aerospace technology.”

GKN Aerospace choosing Horizon38 for its Global Technology Centre reinforces Horizon38’s ambition to support the supply chain for Bristol’s aerospace cluster.

MSF Filton submitted a detailed planning application to South Gloucestershire Council for the Global Technology Centre in November.

Gareth Williams continues, “We have been working very closely with GKN to develop a bespoke building design capable of accommodating very specific needs and functions. It’s been a collaborative approach to get to the current planning proposals.”

Paul Hobbs of GVA, who has advised Horizon38 on the deal, adds, “Horizon38 is an exceptional regeneration project that continues to attract a range of occupiers to North Bristol. We anticipate this to be the first of a number of deals that reflect the importance of the aerospace industry to the region.”

The announcement about GKN Aerospace follows news from Horizon38 that Sytner Group is to build a £15million sales and service operation for its CarShop brand on 7.3acres fronting onto the A38. The Village Hotel and Leisure Club at Horizon 38 opens for business this month, complementing the employment uses at the scheme, and providing an excellent destination for the business community in the city.

Horizon38 is part of the East Works Masterplan Development, a site acquired by MSF Filton in 2015 from Rolls-Royce, already investing around £50m into a range of speculative industrial warehouse units and infrastructure. In the early 1940’s Rolls-Royce began operations at the site in Filton which involved the manufacture and repair of aircraft engines. Rolls-Royce consolidated its operations onto the Gipsy Patch North site which released East Works for a new mixed-use development.