A landmark deal has been agreed which will see West Lindsey District Council purchase the former RAF Scampton site from the Ministry of Defence. And in a back-to-back arrangement the Council will transfer ownership to its new development partner.
The Council is delighted to announce that Scampton Holdings Limited has been selected as its Development Partner and under a Development Agreement they will regenerate the 800-acre historic site, following a successful public procurement exercise.
The deal, which will secure over £300 million of investment into the regeneration of the site will preserve, protect and enhance the site by providing aviation heritage, business, aerospace, space and aviation technology and education opportunities.
Since the closure of the base was announced in 2018, the Council has worked extensively with the Ministry of Defence, local stakeholders and the community to ensure the best possible outcome for the RAF Scampton site and its future positioning within the wider district and county economy.
At the heart of the proposal is the continued use of Scampton as an operational airfield, which will assist in enabling investment across four key business areas:
- Commercial activity, aerospace and aviation;
- Hospitality and tourism; and
- Education and research.
A specific RAF Scampton policy was incorporated into the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan review to ensure the safeguarding and sustainable regeneration of the site post closure. At the centre of this policy is the need to holistically plan for site-wide regeneration that delivers benefit to the existing community at RAF Scampton whilst providing an opportunity policy to secure regeneration and economic growth.
The Scampton Holdings Limited master plan is aligned with the emerging local plan policy. The final ‘Main Modifications’ consultation stage has now been completed with sign off of the revised Local Plan expected in early April.
Council Leader Councillor Owen Bierley said:
“As we approach the significant milestone of the 80th anniversary of Operation Chastise – the Dambusters Raid and will be remembering the important role that RAF Scampton played, the Council is proud to be taking this huge step to preserve and enhance the heritage of the site.
“The Council has always believed that whilst the site was deemed surplus to MOD requirements, it should play a key role in Levelling Up opportunities across West Lindsey and Lincolnshire.
“I am delighted that Scampton Holdings Limited share the vision for the site, which has been based on significant public and stakeholder engagement through the Local Plan process. Taking what are considered to be unique features, such as the world-renowned heritage, restricted airspace and strategic location, our new partner has been able to create a commercially viable and deliverable investment proposition and master plan.
“The Council has the resources in place to deliver the site purchase and Development Agreement and we look forward to working closely with Scampton Holdings Limited and the Ministry of Defence in the coming weeks to complete the deal.”
Chairman of Scampton Holdings Limited, Peter Hewitt said:
“Scampton Holdings Limited are passionate about unlocking the future potential of this key site. We bring to the table a wealth of experience and knowledge across the aerospace, defence, aviation, heritage and hospitality sectors, which through our collaborative and partnership approach to regenerating the site, will ultimately deliver 1000’s of highly skilled new jobs in key growth sectors in the region.”
Scampton Holdings Limited share the council’s vision for the site and have developed a number of guiding principles which include;
- The protection, promotion and enhancement of existing heritage assets at Scampton;
- Supporting and improving existing community facilities;
- Maintaining Scampton as an operational and licensed airfield. Including retention of the restricted airspace status;
- Ensuring there is a ‘whole site’ approach towards being carbon neutral;
- Maintaining the site as one whole entity or campus; and
- Developing a strong tourism and hospitality offering which is additive to the existing visitor economy for Lincolnshire.
Mr Hewitt added:
“We have worked hard to put together a package to see physical regeneration commence in 2023. We have also brought onboard a range of commercial partners that will support the phased regeneration of the site. 2023 will finally be the year where new life is breathed into this wonderful former RAF base for the benefit of the local community and the economy in Lincolnshire and beyond.”
The Council will now work with the Ministry of Defence and Scampton Holdings Limited to conclude the deal as quickly as is practicable. We know that our communities, partners and stakeholders will be keen to understand more about the regeneration plans Details of consultation events will be published in due course.
Hear Leader of West Lindsey District Council Cllr Owen Bierley speaking to BBC Radio Lincolnshire's Sharon Edwards here £300 million plan for RAF Scampton revealed - BBC Sounds
For more information about the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan visit: Local Plan
For more information about the Dambusters visit: Story of the Dambusters