BAE Systems denies Filton hangar demolition rumours
Aviation firm BAE Systems has moved to quash rumours that it is planning to demolish an historic piece of Bristol's aviation history.
Rumours started on Christmas Eve that the owner of Filton Airfield was planning to demolish the famous Brabazon Hangar over the festive season.
But the firm, which has just signed a £120 million deal to sell the airfield to property developers, has confirmed it is looking to find a new use for the huge structure.
Rumours started circulating early on Christmas Eve and Bristol Mayor George Ferguson got in touch with English Heritage after he was contacted by worried campaigners in a bid to halt the demolition.
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But BAE Systems, who has been heavily criticised for the closure of the airfield and the sale to property developer Bridgehouse Capital moved quickly to quash the rumours.
A spokesman for the company revealed that the firm is actually trying to find a new tenant for the 35,000 square metre building.
The spokesman added: "BAE Systems has been actively seeking new occupiers for the Brabazon Hangar for over 18 months and that activity is ongoing.
"Given the current marketing activity to find someone to occupy the hangar and bring the building back into economic use, there are no plans to demolish the Brabazon Hangar after Christmas."
Mr Ferguson said: "This is good news because the hangar really is a part of Bristol's long and illustrious history. We had been in touch with English Heritage but it appears there was little we could have done.
"There have been two applications in the past to list the building but they have been turned down on both occasions."
The huge hangar was built in the late 1940s to accommodate and at the time, the hangar doors and the railway level crossing for the aircraft were the largest in the world.
They were later used by designers and engineers working on the development of Concorde - the most famous aircraft to be built in Bristol.
As reported in The Post the airfield closed to flights for the final time on Friday, December 21, after more than 100 years of operation.
A campaign by the Save Filton Airfield group has been launched to try and save the airfield but the proposed sale of the land appears to have scuppered any chance of saving the land from developers.
Barry Cash, from the campaign group, said: " BAE won the lottery when they took over the airfield. They bought it for a nominal amount and are looking to sell it to property firms for more than £100 million.
"Right throughout this whole process BAE have stuck to the line that the airfield is not economically viable, they made their mind up right at the start of the process and refused to look at any alternative solutions."