Cambridge UK property company Wrenbridge is partnering Norwich International Airport to develop a new aviation business park that could create 1,000 new jobs.The catalyst for the 850,000 sq ft aviation-related business hub is a 160,000 sq ft pre-let to Air Livery.
The aircraft painting facility will accommodate planned expansion at the airport and provide 120 jobs.
Air Livery was recently acquired by Airworks India – India's leading MRO organisation – and Julian Duffen, one of the founders and managing director said: “Our prime objective is to grow our business throughout Europe, India and the Far East.”
The new aviation business park will be developed on 100 acres to the north east of the main runway and sits inside the operational boundary of the airport, offering occupiers bespoke buildings with direct access to the airport’s infrastructure. The land is currently jointly owned by Norwich City and Norfolk County Councils.
As part of a long term commitment to the airport and to encourage the creation of new jobs, both councils have agreed to release land to enable this development proposal to come to fruition.
The site is capable of accommodating up to 850,000 sq ft of hangar and ancillary office space and will focus primarily on businesses associated with the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of aircraft.
The vision is to create a centre of aviation excellence which will complement the existing MRO businesses based at the airport, with the potential to create up to 1,000 new jobs.
Ewen McLeod, associate director of Wrenbridge said: “The first building to be delivered on the site will be for Air Livery and comprises a terrace of five hangars in addition to the company’s head office.
“Work has already started on the preparation of a hybrid planning application with the help of Morgan Sindall Professional Services, who will be applying their extensive aviation expertise to this process.
“The hybrid application will be submitted towards the end of the year following a series of public consultations. This gives us a good platform from which to attract further occupiers to the site.”
Andrew Bell, CEO of Norwich International Airport added: “The development of this land to create an MRO centre of excellence has been a long standing strategic objective of the airport.
“We are delighted to have brought Wrenbridge on board as our development partner for this exciting project, and look forward to working with their team to deliver the new building for Air Livery, as well as attracting further MRO businesses to Norwich International in the future.”
Dr Godfrey Ainsworth, chairman of Norwich Airport and of owners, Omniport Holdings, said that since privatisation in 2004 more than £15m had been invested directly by the airport in infrastructure and upgrading of facilities.
This had been further boosted by significant third party investment totalling more than £20m by tenants including Klyne Aviation in a business aviation centre and Bristow in new hangars. The Air Livery development, together with the opening up of the site would see a further £14m invested at the airport in the first phase alone.