Here Comes Bicester Motion, Where Heritage Will Be Joined By Tech, Track, 4×4, Nature And Leisure Facilities
If you know about the UK’s Bicester Heritage, you’ll know it’s a big area, packed with 40 classic car specialist businesses, and still growing. And now consider that Bicester Heritage actually occupies just 5% of the overall site… there’s the airfield but there’s also land all around the airfield, and now the plans for that perimeter land have been revealed. The entire development comes under the banner of “Bicester Motion”, set to become the UK’s first automotive resort, with an ambition to become one of the country’s top 20 tourist and leisure destinations.
The Bicester Motion site covers 444 acres, and will consist of the recently announced 344-room hotel and conference development and an additional 770,000 feet of operational business and leisure accommodation. It should house a further 30 or more businesses and provide over 2000 more skilled jobs to the area, with leisure facilities, employment and business opportunities. The existing on-site historic vehicle specialists will stay, of course, but will be joined by companies specialising in future electric and autonomous technology.
One of the plans is to include a brand centre offering driver experiences on both road and off-road courses, with accompanying restaurants and cafés. Near to that, the dilapidated quarry and former industrial areas will be transformed into the Bicester Reserve, with public access to the site’s currently inaccessible natural areas and a new country park complete with footpaths, cycle paths and lakeside lodges for family breaks. Over on the other side of the site, there are plans for a “Motor Vaults” community of private gallery-style garages for car storage with accommodation.
On the land next to the Bicester ring road will be the Future Automotive Speed Technology hub, or F.A.S.T. Zone (shown in the main images as an artist’s impression). This will be a planned center of excellence for automotive tech development, demonstration and education. Additionally, the existing perimeter circuit, The Radial, will be refurbished to allow visitors to try vehicles away from public roads. And the two huge existing former World War 2 hangars will become the Bicester Expo exhibition centre.
“The automotive industry is in a fascinating state of flux owing to changing customer habits and requirements, alongside the technology shift in drivetrains and autonomy,” says Dan Geoghegan, Bicester Motion chief executive. “Bicester Motion will enable both new and existing manufacturers to interact more effectively with their clientele. It will help build those relationships in a revolutionary way by providing an immersive environment that offers a lifestyle experience beyond just cars on tracks or visiting a showroom. The automotive world is changing, and we plan to offer a first-of-its-kind resort that will have multi-generational appeal.
“Being around 90 minutes from 50% of the UK population makes the Bicester Motion location second to none, furthermore Oxfordshire receives 27.6 million visitors per annum. Of those, 7 million visitors head to Bicester Village a stone’s throw away, with arguably the most desirable national and international demographic to the automotive industry.”
Images courtesy of Bicester Motion