Bicester Heritage celebrates centre of excellence status into 2023 and beyond

Bicester Heritage celebrates centre of excellence status into 2023 and beyond

15.12.2022: Founded in 2013, Bicester Heritage has restored and reactivated over 50 buildings on a 20-acre site The site itself has become a visitor attraction, with regular ‘Scramble’ events opening up the time-warp base to 7,000 attendees each time

    Founded in 2013, Bicester Heritage has restored and reactivated over 50 buildings on a 20-acre site


    The site itself has become a visitor attraction, with regular ‘Scramble’ events opening up the time-warp base to 7,000 attendees each time


    The location reached full capacity this year, and is now home to 50 specialist businesses, providing some 350 jobs



Bicester Heritage continues to celebrate its centre of excellence status for the classic motoring enterprise within the UK, a sector worth £18.8bn per annum.



The site continues to broaden its reach to become a hub, not just for the classic car industry, but for the mobility space more generally. What started as a heritage-focused community has since evolved into a hub of exciting automotive businesses, that now includes EV-only brand Polestar and NEOM McLaren Formula E.



Founded in 2013, Bicester Heritage has restored and reactivated over 50 buildings on a 20-acre site, held as an exemplar of constructive conservation by Historic England, crucially maintaining the look and feel of the nation’s best-preserved World War 2 RAF Bomber Station.



In summer 2020, Bicester Motion Heritage completed construction and delivery of ‘The Command Works’ – the first significant new-build construction in 80 years at the location. It marked a shift in businesses not directly involved in the classic car industry, realising the benefits of a symbiotic community like Bicester Heritage. Motorsport UK, the governing body for all motorsport in the UK, became one of the flagship tenants of ‘The Command Works’.



Bicester Heritage reached full capacity this year, and is now home to 50 specialist businesses, providing some 350 jobs and apprenticeship opportunities for the local area. It continues to attract the classic car industry businesses that it was initially established to nurture, but also a number of future-facing automotive and mobility brands. The overall Bicester Motion site, which was established with Heritage, but will grow to include Experience, Innovation and Wilderness Quarters, will be developed as a home to the past, present and future of mobility in the UK.



Polestar, a pure EV brand, has established its UK commercial head office at Bicester Heritage, as has NEOM McLaren Formula E, an electric motorsport contender. The creators of electric motorbike scooters, Zapp EV, also join the former RAF base, alongside Zero Petroleum, who create fossil-free fuels for use in all forms of transport, including aeroplanes – a futuristic link to the site’s aviation past.



The site itself has become a visitor attraction, with regular ‘Scramble’ events opening up the time-warp base to 7,000 attendees each time for an insight into the skilled work that the on-site businesses do, with 4,320 attendees aged 15 and under during 2022, sharing the magic of the motoring industry with young enthusiasts.



The reactivation of the events calendar could hardly come at a better time, as recent data provided by Experience Oxfordshire finds that there was a 56% increase in both the number of visitors and related expenditure in 2021 compared to 2020, rising from 14.5m to 23.3m visitors and from £1bn to £1.6bn in expenditure in the county.



The Scramble events raised £20,691 for their charity partner StarterMotor during 2022, the largest donation to date. Around 100,000 people visit Bicester Heritage each year. And, the latest four new tenants have each seen the benefit of being based at a ‘destination’ venue already with a large footfall of visitors.




Daniel Geoghegan, CEO, Bicester Motion comments:



“2022 has seen Bicester Heritage reach something of a pinnacle, we are at full capacity and are home to a varied specialist community that take great pride in making Bicester their home. With our ten-year anniversary coming up next year, I can only hope that we continue making such an impact with both our events calendar and opportunities for the local community.”





Bicester Heritage:



Bicester Heritage has created a revolution in historic vehicle ownership. Founded in 2013 Bicester Heritage has gone from a standing start to a home for 50 specialist businesses, and growing, with a collective turnover of over £50m, making it the largest player in the industry and set to grow exponentially with a global reach.



The unique ecosystem of businesses based at the beautiful 444-acre former WW2 RAF Bomber Training Station acts as a ‘marina-like’ cluster, promoting skills and expertise, employment, qualified customer footfall, shared business incubation and aggregate growth. The site is all about driving the future of the past.



The former RAF Bicester site on which Bicester Heritage is now based, is of national historic importance. Neglected for the best part of 40 years, it was added to Historic England’s ‘At Risk Register’ in 2008 and designated the most 'at risk' of all Defence Estates in the UK.



Since Bicester Heritage’s tenure, over 95% of the buildings have been delicately restored or re-activated for modern business use, with the site now held as a national exemplar of constructive conservation by Historic England. The time-warp base is truly unmatched in evocative character and an active airfield and test track complete its dynamic operation.



Bicester Heritage is a component part of Bicester Motion, an incomparable visitor attraction which will offer an authentic collection of dynamic and inclusive visitor experiences, less than an hour from London.



For more information about the site and the team behind it, see www.bicesterheritage.co.uk.




Charlotte Mackenzie

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/bicester-heritage-centre-of-excellence-status-2023-beyond---246078.html

15.12.2022 / MaP

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