The Bicester Heritage complex, which features a number of classic car and restoration specialists, has received £3m in funding for further expansion.
Bicester Heritage has been awarded £3m of funding to develop and expand. The funding follows the complex’s staggering transformation from being on Historic England’s ‘At Risk’ register to a booming business centre and heritage site.
Bicester Heritage is now hive of classic restoration businesses, crafts workshops and historic automobile collections. The latest injection of cash will aid phase four of restoration at Bicester Heritage, and also lay the foundations for phase five in 2018 – which will see further expansion in the site.
The funding is thanks to Handelsbanken, which has been a long-term partner of Bicester Heritage, and has witnessed the site’s transformation from dereliction to boom.
The former RAF Bomber Command Station has become the de facto hub for the classic car, aero leisure and historic engineering industries – a fitting evolution given the site’s heritage.
Phase four of the site’s development will involve the development of ten new buildings and an extra 30,000 square feet of premises, all of which are already pre-let or under offer. In fact, 50 per cent of the occupiers of the new business units are current tenants, thus creating space for new, smaller specialists.
When Bicester Heritage opened its gates in 2013, six pioneer tenants were introduced to the site. Fast forward to this year and all six remain among 34 other businesses.
This development will enable the site to welcome more specialist businesses to include sales, storage, engineers, education and publishing, not to mention its range of existing events.
Daniel Geoghegan, managing director at Bicester Heritage, said: ‘The financing from Handelsbanken is a clear endorsement of Bicester Heritage’s progress and underlying business model. The bank has taken the time to build a relationship and get under the skin of our concept, very much a partnership approach. To have obtained funding from an internationally recognised bank such as Handelsbanken reflects the health and prospects of Bicester Heritage’s vision.’
Chris Andrews, Corporate Manager at Handelsbanken’s Banbury branch, added: ‘Following an invitation to hear Bicester Heritage’s plans for the rejuvenation of the former RAF Bicester station, we were delighted to offer our ideas as to how the bank could help. With a robust business model, backed by a real passion for what they do, the Bicester Heritage team have delivered a new, unrivalled, centre of excellence for vintage cars in the UK.’