OUR VISION

In 2011 the Bicester Heritage site (formerly RAF Bicester) was designated as a ‘Strategic Development Site’ and was adopted in the Cherwell Local Plan 2015 for ‘Tourism Development’ providing support for heritage tourism uses, leisure, recreation, employment and community uses including the development of hotel and conference facilities.

Our vision is to establish one of the world’s leading automotive destinations, by creating an international centre of excellence for automobiles, past, present and future. Strategic plans are being developed in order to deliver a landmark tourism development at the site, which will become a destination for leisure and skills, automotive innovation and technology, exhibitions, cultural events, and experience centres.

The site, firmly embedded within the UK’s ‘motorsport valley’, is already an economically important centre for the local community, a national destination for families and enthusiasts and a global centre of excellence for automotive conservation, engineering and development.

CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS

Hotel

We have submitted a planning application to develop a landmark 344-room hotel, leisure and conference centre on the border of the technical site and airfield.

The hotel design has been created by world leading hotel specialists Dexter Moran Architects in collaboration with heritage and landscape specialists. The design has been developed over a period of two years in consultation with Cherwell District Council.

The proposal provides a modern luxury hotel, leisure and conference function within the same footprint as one of the existing Grade II listed 1936 C-Type hangars. The design responds in a contemporary manner to the site’s rich and unique story, drawing inspiration from its historic position at the forefront of aviation, engineering, and innovation while complementing the existing period buildings.

Within these conservation-led environs the hotel’s design is a modern interpretation of the form of the adjoining listed hangars, and features a signature entrance atrium designed around to showcase automotive themed exhibitions and displays. The building will be largely clad in brickwork with aluminium and mesh elements reminiscent of the camouflage nets used during the site’s war-time past, in the hands of the RAF.

Providing 344 hotel and aparthotel rooms, and with extensive facilities including food and beverage, leisure and conferencing, this new hotel will contribute greatly to the Bicester and Oxford area hospitality provision while enhancing the activities of Bicester Heritage and its future to create a world leading automotive destination.

The hotel development at Bicester Heritage has been demand driven with the intention that this new development contributes to regional employment, economy, tourism and amenities. This conservation-led development would further deliver on the Cherwell Local Plan Tourism Development designation for the site first laid out in 2011 and adopted in 2015, wherein the former RAF Bicester site is identified for Strategic Development.

Subject to planning we hope to commence development in late Summer 2019.

Any enquiries relating to the hotel should be sent to the following email address: hotel@bicesterheritage.co.uk

New Technical Site

Bicester Heritage has submitted a planning application to create new employment space south of the historic Technical Site near Skimmingdish Lane.

The proposed buildings will act as an expansion of the historic Technical Site, complementing the existing premises and providing an opportunity to introduce a further ten to twelve new businesses and to create further job opportunities in the locality.

The proposed site is located at the south-western ‘degraded’ edge of the Bicester Heritage site and is currently an overgrown area of the site which is in desperate need of attention.

The New Technical Site proposal has been developed in collaboration with Bicester Heritage’s consultants in order to create an opportunity to extend the existing technical site to create new business opportunities and extend the number of highly skilled specialists on the site.

The design and layout have been the subject of extensive pre-application discussions with Cherwell District Council to ensure that the proposals are properly informed by an understanding of the site’s heritage significance, character and appearance to ensure that this is preserved.

The proposed development ensures that the repair and use of existing buildings will not be compromised and that the old and new can form an integrated whole, ensuring that the historic buildings do not become isolated from their setting and historical context.

The proposal re-establishes the existing, Old Skimmingdish Lane as a spine route through the development, use of the former route allows the retention of all defence structures.

The designs also seek to provide a sense of continuity – not to mimic the past but to include references and design cues that will help the new buildings assimilate with their surroundings. Thus, the designs include a range of building heights and materials to create an informal, varied and dispersed character to the new structures.

Any enquiries relating to the new technical site should be sent to the following email address: newtechnicalsite@bicesterheritage.co.uk