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6 October, 2020 - 13:03 By Tony Quested

Marshall signs option for new home at Cranfield but defers Cambridge exit decision

Marshall of Cambridge has signed a long-term option on land at Cranfield University’s massive site in the event of moving its Aerospace and Defence business there.

But the company insists it does not mean that a move to RAF Wyton – the only other option now Duxford has been ruled out – has been erased from the relocation equation.

The official line is that Marshall is thinking long-term in securing Cranfield space while it makes a final decision on whether to stay in Cambridge or move thousands of jobs and a world-leading ADG group 40 miles down the road to Bedfordshire.

Marshall confirms that it has signed an Option Agreement for a 150-year lease on a parcel of land on Cranfield University’s proposed Air Park development.

ADG interim chief executive Gary Moynehan, said: “Whilst it is important to note that the signing of the Option Agreement does not represent a final decision to relocate Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group to Cranfield, we are pleased to have reached an agreement which provides us with a credible relocation option.

“We are very excited by Cranfield’s ambitions to create a Global Research Airport and are already collaborating closely with them on a number of R & D projects. 

“As such, the signing of this Option Agreement represents a further strengthening of a valuable relationship that I am sure will deliver significant benefits to all parties over the years ahead, irrespective of where we ultimately make our new home.

“However, there are still a wide number of factors that we need to take into account before making any definitive decision about the best location or locations for the MADG business when we ultimately relocate by 2030.”

Professor Sir Peter Gregson, vice-chancellor and chief executive at Cranfield University added:“We are delighted to be progressing our talks with Marshall through the signing of this Option Agreement.

“Located at the heart of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, Cranfield with its Global Research Airport and MADG would provide a vibrant ecosystem of research, technology demonstration and innovation in aerospace that is unrivalled in the UK.

“We believe the relocation of MADG to Cranfield would further strengthen the partnership between one of the UK’s leading privately-owned aerospace and defence companies and one of the UK’s leading aerospace and defence universities.”

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