£15m Norwich Aeropark plans launch delayed due to lack of funding and NDR

07:43 23 December 2015

Norwich Airport. Photo : Steve Adams

Norwich Airport. Photo : Steve Adams

Copyright Archant Norfolk 2014

A bid to create an aeropark at Norwich Airport has been put on ice due to lack of funding, it has been revealed.

Plans for Air Livery aeroplane painting base at Norwich Aeropark.Plans for Air Livery aeroplane painting base at Norwich Aeropark.

The 100-acre site, to the north east of the main runway, was aimed to be a business park for aviation firms, create more than 1,000 jobs over the next decade, and secure the airport’s future.

It is understood sourcing investment for the £15m project is being held up by the completion of the Northern Distributor Road which is set to be finished in 2018.

However the Aviation Academy, which will provide apprenticeships and training, is not affected by this decision.

The first stage of the aeropark was to build five new hangars for aircraft painting firm Air Livery.

A spokesman for the airport, which was bought by The Rigby Group in June last year, said: “The Air Livery development planned for Norwich Aeropark is on hold due to the cost of developing both the facility and the required site infrastructure, including the access road.”

She added the airport was in ongoing discussions with Air Livery to look at other options for providing space for business growth.

“The development of the aeropark remains a core objective for the airport and local authorities, and the access provided to the site by the upcoming NDR will be key in unlocking the site’s potential,” she said.

Plans were originally announced in 2012, when Norwich International Airport teamed up with Cambridge-based firm Wrenbridge to develop the site.

Planning permission for the first stage of the project - for Air Livery to build five 17m units and create 150 jobs with an access road to the A140 - was secured in 2013.

But the airport was bought by the Rigby Group in June last year, and Wrenbridge is no longer involved in the project.

Wrenbridge director Ewen McLeod said the viability of the project was tough. He added the view of the Rigby Group was 
that it would progress the project itself. “We came to a mutual 
agreement our involvement wasn’t needed,” he said.

Air Livery finance director Mark Thomas said the expansion could not progress due to lack of funding.

In February it was revealed Norwich City Council had been prepared to lend £9.7m to a project involving Norwich International Airport.

The loan was not given, but the council has refused to reveal what the mystery project was.

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