Major new business park, which could create up to 1,750 jobs planned at Gloucestershire airport

Photo shows: Mark Price, at Vitruvius Management Services, with Gloucestershire Airport’s Commercial Finance Director, Karen Taylor
Gloucestershire airport employment site

A new business park at Gloucestershire Airport, which will create space for up to 1,750 new jobs, could be created if plans submitted to Tewkesbury Borough Council get the go ahead. The Airport is submitting a planning application for an expansion of its employment sites.

The 35,000 sq m site, between the existing Anson and Meteor business parks, lies in an area of strategic economic growth and will become home to offices and industrial units. The rest of the site, which has been allocated for development in Tewkesbury Borough Council’s emerging Local Plan, will be landscaped.

The new 8.5-hectare park will sit on land to the north of the Gloucestershire Airport site and replace the northern end of the north/south runway.

Gloucestershire Airport’s Commercial Finance Director, Karen Taylor, said: “We are really excited to be able to talk about new jobs coming to the area at this crucial time for the recovery of the economy. The location is ideally placed for growth with connections by road and air, and we aim for the airport to be a gateway to growth for the many exciting developments happening in Cheltenham and Gloucester.

“It is an exciting time for the county and our proposal will allow more businesses to connect to the cyber centre of excellence at West Cheltenham, the significant ambition of Gloucester City and the wider region too.”

Access to the park will be provided by an improved entrance to the junction on the B4063.

GFirst LEP, will provide £1.885 Million in ‘Growth Deal’ funding to support the infrastructure required to deliver the new development.

Gloucestershire Airport is a limited company, established in 1993, although there has been an airfield on the site since 1931. During World War Two, it served as an RAF training base and during the 1940s, flying pioneer Sir Alan Cobham helped develop in-flight refuelling there. The limited company has a 999 year lease on the 400 acre site and manages both the commercial and aviation related activities. It is jointly owned by Gloucester City and Cheltenham Borough Councils, which each have a 50 per cent shareholding.

The airport has aspirations to be one of the greenest airports in the UK. Research into electric flight is already underway by companies at the airport, which is strategically placed on the M5/A40. Perhaps surprisingly, it says it is the UK’s busiest general aviation airport, with tens of thousands of aircraft movements each year.

Tewkesbury Borough Council has recommended that the site is allocated for growth in its Local Plan, which is at an advanced stage and awaits approval from the Secretary of State.

Karen Taylor added: “This is an important part of our growth strategy to deliver a sustainable business as part of our long-term vision. Connecting Cheltenham, Gloucester and the Golden Valley with new businesses and airports across Europe will form a crucial part of our success and that of the county.”

Mark Price, Managing Director of Vitruvius, said: “We have been a part of the team at Gloucestershire Airport for some time, helping to develop a vision and proposals to make it a sustainable business for the long term.

“I’m pleased that we are part of this exciting new scheme to bring growth to our region at a time when we need a strong recovery.

“As project managers for this major development we are also delighted to have been able to make this a very Gloucestershire-centric project. We are locally based and our partners on the project are locally based too, helping to further boost the county’s economy.”

Gloucestershire Airport is currently home to a number of important businesses including private jet hire company The Little Jet Company,  Global Aviation Training Services (GATS), which provides a wide range of aviation training services in air traffic management and Babcock Mission Critical Services Onshore, formerly Bond Air Services which operates air ambulance helicopters in the UK and provides training for pilots and ground crew. Other companies based on the site include Weston Aviation and Summit Aviation among others.

Once the application is registered, people will be able to comment on the proposals via Tewkesbury Borough Council’s website.

The new business park would be built on land which is partly used as a north-south runway. This is primarily used as an alternative runway for training flights when operations are impacted by crosswinds. The Airport accepts there will be a level of disruption, but says it is working with its tenants on the matter.

This latest news follows the news earlier this year that Cheltenham Borough Council has launched a £400 million project to build the UK’s cyber capital in Cheltenham.

The site, which is next to GCHQ, will see up to 200-hectares of land transformed into a world-class, multi-purpose development with the UK’s first cyber focused campus, Cyber Central, at its heart. In July the borough council announced that it had shortlisted six potential development partners.