Extra £3m for Bicester Heritage
Stunning historic vehicle centre receives extra investment to continue development
Bicester Heritage has been granted £3 million of funding to continue restoration of the 348-acre former RAF bomber command station, and to allow the development of ten new buildings.
In just four years the site has gone from being listed by Historic England as ‘At Risk’ to being a thriving centre of excellence for the historic vehicle industry, with 30 companies now operating from there, and several successful classic car and aeroplane events having already taken place.
The £3 million funding from Handelsbanken, a long-term partner of the project, will allow Phase 4 of the development to be completed, releasing ten new buildings (representing 30,000 sq ft of space) to be completed by late 2017. All of those buildings have either been pre-let or are under offer, with 50% of them going to existing tenants whose businesses have been so successful at Bicester that they are now expanding.
The investment will also allow Phase 5 to begin in 2018. This moves development to a new part of the site, where 60,000 sq ft of all-new buildings ranging from 3500 to 10,000 square feet will be built. These will help satisfy demand from major automotive organisations keen to be associated to Bicester Heritage but which need modern facilities.
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The XK120 was launched in roadster form at the 1948 London Motor Show as a testbed and show car for the new XK engine.. It caused a sensation, which persuaded Jaguar founder and design boss William Lyons to put it into production. The "120" in its name referred to its 120 mph (193 km/h) top speed (faster with the windscreen removed), which made the XK120 the world's fastest standard production car