ABOVE: Construction on the two-phase development will begin early next year

The Head of Business Development for London Oxford Airport, James Dillon-Godfrey, has elaborated on plans for the recently-approved R&D Science Park scheduled for construction at the site.  

 The 200,000+ square foot development on Oxford Airport (formerly Kidlington)’s land (which was approved by Cherwell District Council’s planning committee in June) will include up to seventeen units (ranging from 7,700 square feet to 56,300 square feet), providing a unique base for smaller business and start-ups. Although the primary target market is described as the ‘start-ups and spin-outs from the University science ecosystem,’ these ‘laboratory-enabled, Grade-A accommodation facilities’ will be open to any business, with Dillon-Godfrey expressing a personal interest in attracting aviation technology companies.  

Although another development across the road at Oxford Technology park has also received planning permission, Dillon-Godfrey explained that the ability to offer comparatively smaller sized units is of real benefit to the ‘numerous advanced’ enterprises looking for premises; elaborating on the synergies of the performance engineering companies in the local vicinity.  

 Development will progress over two phases, starting with the site formerly occupied by the old Oxford Aviation Academy accommodation block (already in the process of being demolished). Construction should commence in January 2024, with the buildings occupiable by the end of 2024 or early 2025, and negotiations are already underway with two interested tenants. A second phase, to be initiated subject to demand, will occupy the site of the old adjacent War War II hangars.  

 With development work within the Green Belt highly regulated, the new facilities (including an area open to the wider community) will have EV charging points for 25% of vehicle spaces, alongside 190 council-mandated bicycle racks.  

 As part of its strategic development plan, the airport is also investing heavily in additional infrastructure such as a major new hangar complex, seven new helipads and the provision for additional electric charging solutions. A new fuel tender will also see SAF available from the airport as early as next year.