£60m. aero site’s big jobs blast off

The former Michelin site where Barnfield's aerospace village is being built. (s)
The former Michelin site where Barnfield's aerospace village is being built. (s)
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BURNLEY’s exciting new £60m. aerospace village is all set for takeoff with its first tenant ready to board.

International manufacturer Kaman is in advanced negotiations to become the flagship tenant of Barnfield Construction’s new 37-acre advanced engineering supply park, which is being built on the former Michelin site at Heasandford Industrial Estate.

Another prospective tenant is also being lined up and Tim Webber, managing director and chairman of The Barnfield Group, said excitement around the development, which will create around 1,000 jobs, goes to show Burnley is a town very much on the up.

“We are delighted that after just three months of marketing the site we have received three strong leads with Kaman Tooling Limited set to be the flagship tenants.

“To actually be delivering successful business parks here and at our AMS Technology Business Park really shows businesses in and around Burnley have a positive and proactive attitude when it comes to development and this park is proof that Burnley is a town driving forward the economy of aerospace and engineering.”

Kaman Tooling Ltd is part of the Kaman Corporation, a multi-national aerospace and industrial distribution business headquartered in the US and with a worldwide workforce of more than 5,000.

Guy Thomas, managing director of Kaman UK, said: “Our current investment and growth plan has meant that our tooling business has outgrown its existing manufacturing footprint. We continue to negotiate a move to the Michelin site where the new facility would allow us to invest in machinery, provide security for our existing workforce and create additional jobs. Working with Barnfield provides us with a great opportunity to design a purpose built state of the art facility that would enable us to meet all of our future business needs.”

Barnfield, who acquired the site from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), has started work completely refurbishing the existing structure of the main building that currently dominates the park to provide 4,000sq. ft of offices with a 60,000sq. ft new production facility which following the signing of final documents would be occupied by Kaman.

The whole site has the capacity to accommodate up to 400,000sq. ft of commercial and industrial space and there has already been interest in over half of this space by local businesses.

Burnley Council chief executive Steve Rumbelow said: “We have worked closely with the HCA to get this development under way they have been great partners and acted with a real purpose. It is also another site that is being supported by the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership through The Growing Places Fund and the installation of high speed broadband.”

Assuming contract negotiations are successful, the new Kaman Tooling production facility could be completed before the end of 2013.