In a major boost to the local economy, a new 160,000-square-foot advanced manufacturing unit is to be constructed for AIM Aviation at Bournemouth Airport’s Aviation Business Park.
MAG Property, part of Manchester Airports Group (MAG), the owner of Bournemouth Airport, has agreed a pre-let deal for the new £11 million facility with AIM Aviation.
AIM already works with many of the world’s airlines and aircraft manufacturers creating unique interior products that enable airlines to offer a highly differentiated product and passengers a more pleasurable inflight experience. The new purpose-built facility on Aviation Business Park at Bournemouth Airport will provide AIM Aviation’s Cabin Interiors Division with 30% additional capacity, to meet expanding demand for its premium aircraft interiors.
The new manufacturing unit, will be complimented by modern offices and a new Customer Zone, essential for allowing the viewing of mock-up interiors and styling options for existing and prospective customers.
A new dedicated test facility will also support AIM’s leading edge Research and Development arm, specialising in utilising new composite materials to create lighter aircraft interiors and therefore more environmentally efficient aircraft.
Paul Knight, Managing Director of Bournemouth Airport, said:
“It is fantastic news for the whole region that AIM Aviation is making a significant investment in its production facilities here in Bournemouth.
Not only does this announcement bring a welcome boost to the local job market, it also represents a sign of returning confidence in the airport itself and demonstrates the strength of Aviation Business Park as a place to do business.
We recognise the role of the airport and its business park as one of the most important employment locations in South East Dorset and backed by the Local Authorities, we aim to strengthen the significant contribution it already makes to the local economy and provide further new opportunities for local businesses to expand, too.”
Construction work will commence in August and is scheduled for completion by the end of summer 2015, when AIM Aviation staff will move into the new state-of-the art facility from existing smaller premises in the region.
Colin Thornton, MD of AIM Aviation’s Cabin Interiors Division, said:
“This is part of an overall progression strategy to provide AIM Aviation with the best possible facilities for all cabin interior requirements and sufficient capacity to meet with the company’s own plans for growth and that of the commercial aviation market.
Having the whole team under one roof in one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in Europe will greatly enhance our ability to meet customers’ demand for reduced time-to-market and best value. In addition, this exciting project will allow AIM Aviation to have a modern facility in keeping with the high quality of product it supplies and are delighted to be investing in Bournemouth.”
The new development for AIM Aviation forms part of a wider ten-year development masterplan for Aviation Business Park, backed by Christchurch Borough Council and Dorset County Council.
Outline planning permission was secured in December 2011 to deliver a range of quality new business premises and commercial space, split across five separate plots, totalling around 35-acres, within the existing footprint of the 200-acre Aviation Business Park.
As part of the ten-year development programme, vehicular access to the site will also be significantly improved, along with public transport links, pedestrian and bicycle access.
A total highway contribution of £1.1m will be made by MAG to Dorset County Council, which in its role as Highways Authority would deliver these works.
A new area of heathland habitat will also be created as part of the development programme, adding to the biodiversity of the Business Park and doubling up as an additional buffer area between Business Park and the SSSI area to the north.
Aviation Business Park currently provides 1.6m sq ft of business space, supports over 200 businesses and around 2,500 jobs.
It comprises offices, industrial units, distribution, hangars and workshop sites, with a mix of both aviation and non-aviation related occupiers, which are generally attracted by the prestige of being based at the airport, which is perceived to be a secure environment, with high levels of connectivity as a transport hub and good access to skilled staff and on-site amenities.
Existing major occupiers include: Honeywell, Babcock, Meggitt, Siemens, Cobham and CSE Citation.