Situated between Aylesbury and Bicester, Westcott Venture Park in Buckinghamshire is a 650-acre mixed-use development comprising office space, warehouses, manufacturing buildings and workshops.
The £30 million site is owned by Rockspring who have recently completed a number of major infrastructure works to improve access to the estate.
Rockspring European Director, Rod Mordey, said:
“Westcott Venture Park was formerly an airfield constructed during World War II. The site was built to provide a space where Lancaster Bomber pilots could be trained. Following the war, the site became the Rocket Propulsion Establishment for the government and in 1996 the site was sold to Rockspring where it has since become a part-vacant/part-let site which we continue to develop.
“The first stage of developing Westcott Venture Park was to refurbish many of the existing buildings to prepare the structures for new lettings. There are five hangars on the site; two were stripped back to the frame and were completely re-clad, two were over-clad and the remaining hangar let to a waste contractor in its current form.
“Beyond the existing buildings on the park we have progressed with a number of new initiatives to increase income. In order to achieve this, we recently moved the entrance of the estate and installed a new estate road which opened up a large amount of land for development.
“We have built approximately 2km of road by removing one of the redundant runways. We then crushed the excavated material and used it as a base layer for the new road. This allowed us to recycle the old road and saved us from having to import any new materials.
“As a result of this work, we have been able to sell one plot of land to an American company called Construction Specialties so they can develop a warehouse. We are currently halfway through developing a parcel loading depot too.”
In addition to the new loading depot that is currently under construction at Westcott Venture Park, a 1.6MW solar park – complete with 6000 solar panels – and an anaerobic digestion facility for Shanks Waste Management is also being built. Once work is complete on the anaerobic digestion building the new facility will produce 3MW of energy.
Specialist joinery and cabinet makers Philip Gameson Joinery was responsible for the construction of the new gatehouse which is located at the entrance to Westcott Venture Park. The gatehouse measures approximately 10 meters wide and 40 meters in length and was constructed from a mix of brick and block over a 16-week period.
Philip Gameson Joinery Project Manager, Terry Smythe, said:
“Our involvement with the Westcott Venture Park project and with Rockspring is very important to us. This is the first time we have worked with Rockspring and we hope to work with the company on future projects.”
Discussing the benefits of the new additions to the site, Rod Mordey, commented:
“With the addition of the new solar park and anaerobic digestion facility we are really pleased about the amount of energy that is being produced at Westcott Venture Park. Currently we use around 2,500 MW/h per annum, but we will soon be producing approximately four times this amount.”
“We have a good masterplan for developing this site with work taking place away from the village of Westcott in order to reduce noise. There are areas which we have identified as Heritage sites and these will be retained and we have also recognised ecological areas which are being managed to be respectful of the existing wildlife, which includes great crested newts, bats, badgers and barn owls.
“Westcott Venture Park is a core asset for Rockspring. We have 70 tenants and we employ over 400 people at the site, attracting staff from both the Aylesbury and Bicester areas. We work with each of our tenants to make sure that they are kept in occupation, even through challenging economical times and the site is secure, which is very beneficial for our tenants as they know that their business will be safe when they close up each night.”
For more information about Rockspring please visit: www.rockspringpim.com.