Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group has announced it is a step closer to finding a new location for its businesses.
The company, one of the largest employers in the county, has eliminated the two Cambridgeshire locations it was considering.
The company confirmed it remains committed to relocating its businesses by 2030, following news that the airport land owned by Marshall was identified for redevelopment in the Greater Cambridge Local Plan.
Following the announcement of its relocation plans in May 2019, the company has now reviewed its three shortlisted locations at Cranfield, Duxford and RAF Wyton.
The company has now confirmed that Duxford and RAF Wyton, both in Cambridgeshire, have been ruled out.
Cranfield, Bedfordshire remains a “viable and practical option” that the company is “continuing to pursue”.
However, the company has not yet made a final decision about the Cranfield location.
On October 6, 2020, the company said that it had signed a 150-year lease on a location at Cranfield University Air Park development outside Bedford.
At the time, Cambridgeshire City Council leader Lewis Herbert expressed his disappointment in the announcement that the company planned to leave Cambridgeshire.
Marshall’s move from Cambridge Airport has been part of the council’s development plan for the city.
The site is planned to cease to be an airport and will become a housing development by 2030, with plans for 12,000 new houses and a commercial area.
Marshall CEO Kathy Jenkins said: “Whilst we are disappointed that we haven’t been able to make either Duxford or Wyton work for us we believe, given the obvious synergies between our aerospace business and Cranfield, that it is a very compelling option.
“As such, we will shortly begin the process of preparing an outline planning application, with submission planned in Autumn 2022 in order to give us further confidence that we have a deliverable site should we wish to relocate to Cranfield.
“However, like so many businesses, Covid-19 has changed a lot of things for us and this, coupled with recent announcements in relation to the early withdrawal of the RAF’s C-130 fleet, means we are not yet in a position to make a final decision about a choice of a new home for our Aerospace or Land Systems businesses.
“Naturally, given the exciting news that the airport land has been included in the Local PlanPreferred Options, our priority now is to confirm definitive relocation plans as soon as we are practicably able and we look forward to making further announcements in due course.”
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