New lease of life for ‘saved’ historic RAF Bicester buildings
More than 12 historic wartime buildings at risk have been saved and restored to their former glory at RAF Bicester – the home of Bomber Command during World War II.
We are about to complete the second phase of a restoration programme with new owners Bicester Heritage who plan to regenerate the former First and Second World War military base into a heritage motor and aviation business park.
Bicester Heritage acquired the derelict 348-acre site, which houses 60 wartime buildings, from the Ministry of Defence in Oxfordshire in 2013. The company has already attracted 17 engineering companies who specialise in old cars and aeroplanes to move into the unique accommodation which will provide 25 business units.
We are currently putting the finishing touches to Building 90, the former Main Stores, which was once used to house kit and war supplies. It is the last building to be restored before construction starts on a final phase of works which will see the renovation of further derelict buildings including Building 119, the former Field Force Motor Shed, and Building 123, the old station armoury and lecture room, over the next two to three years. The project has enabled the RAF base to be removed from English Heritage’s At Risk Register where it was placed in 2008 following concerns about potential modern developments destroying its historic character.
Over the past 18 months we have been working with Bicester Heritage and Cherwell District Council to deliver the first two phases of the sensitive restoration programme. The refurbishment works have included roof repairs and replacement, glazing repairs, the replacement and refurbishment of the original Crittal windows and external joinery and redecoration.