4:14pm Friday 21st December 2012
By Marion Sauvebois
FILTON Airfield has been sold to a property developer in a deal believed to be worth £120 million, two weeks before its official closure.
Owners BAE Systems revealed today that London-based Bridgehouse Capital Limited had agreed to buy the airfield after several months of negotiations. The sale is believed to be worth £120 million although the sum has not been confirmed.
Last year BAE announced the impending closure of the airfield saying it had become financially unviable. The birthplace of Concorde has now been earmarked for housing as part of South Gloucestershire Council’s planning blueprint, or core strategy.
A BAE spokesman said: "BAE Systems will continue to move forward with plans for the redevelopment of the site which will create much needed housing and commercial development to support economic growth and inward investment in the local and regional aerospace and advanced engineering industry.
"We can confirm that in support of delivery of this vision we have entered into a development partnership with Bridgehouse Capital who bring further development expertise that will enhance our ability to implement these plans."
On Tuesday, the Airbus A380 landed for the last time in Filton.
BAE looked back on the airfield’s rich past as well as the region’s aviation history.
"After a long and illustrious history at the heart of Britain’s aviation industry Filton Airfield today closes its gates and ceases operational use," the spokesman said.
"We want to pay tribute to everyone who has a connection to Filton both past and present. The final decision to close was made on the basis that the airfield is no longer economically viable - verified by an independent study - following discussions with the main user Airbus and a thorough examination of other potential aviation uses for the site."
He confirmed that the air ambulance and police helicopters based in Filton would continue to operate from the airfield.
The company reiterated its support for a new aviation heritage museum on the airfield. Earlier this month BAE donated a site as well as £2.5 million towards the project.
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