News that Marshall Aerospace of Cambridge is more likely to relocate to Bedfordshire, rather than Wyton, near Huntingdon, has been met with disappointment.
Gary Moynehan, chief executive of Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (MADG), has confirmed the signing of an option to acquire a 150-year lease on a site at Cranfield University, in Bedfordshire.
But he insists it does not represent a final decision to relocate but a step that “provides us with a credible relocation option”.
Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly said: “The Wyton site is in my neighbouring constituency of North West Cambridgeshire, but with a number of my constituents working at Marshall and wider county concerns, it is an important issue for me. Marshall had been considering a move to the Wyton site amongst other sites, for a number of years. I had made it clear to Marshall that they would be very welcome to relocate to Wyton and it would have been good to have them stay in the county.
“My understanding is that the Bedfordshire decision is not final and I shall continue to work with fellow MPs and local leaders to encourage Marshall of the benefits of staying within Cambridgeshire.”
North West Cambridgeshire MP, Shailesh Vara, added; “Marshall’s arrival in Wyton in my constituency would have been a major boost for the local economy and a lot of work was put in to try to bring them over. The latest announcement is of course very disappointing and whilst it is not conclusive the fact is that Marshall’s are veering towards the Bedfordshire site. Even at this late stage I will continue to work with Huntingdonshire District Council and my neighbouring MP Jonathan Djanogly to see if there is anything at all that can be done to change the situation.”
Executive leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, Cllr Ryan Fuller said: “I am disappointed that Marshall seems to be moving closer to a move out of Cambridgeshire but I do understand the need for the company to demonstrate viable relocation options in regard to the future of eastern Cambridge, and they have confirmed that they have not yet made a final decision.
“It would be a shame to lose such a long standing and important business and skillset from the Cambridgeshire area and I want to be clear that Huntingdonshire’s door remains open to continuing to explore opportunities for Marshall to retain a local presence. I shall continue to work with other Cambridgeshire council leaders.”
Mr Moynehan said the company was excited by Cranfield’s ambitions to create a global research airport and Marshall was already collaborating with them on several R&D projects.
“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.”