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Investment and development signals new era at Gamston airport

Press release -

Investment and development signals new era at Gamston airport

  • Initial development of Gamston airport for future UK centre of excellence in vehicle technology research and safety testing commences
  • Construction includes upgrades to runway and infrastructure to continue safe ongoing aviation operations
  • Employment and training opportunities in both high-grade automotive testing and vehicle repair training

The first phase of the multi-million-pound development and investment at Retford (Gamston) Airport by Thatcham Research marks an exciting new era for the site and surrounding area.

The ambition is to create a UK centre of excellence around vehicle technology testing and safety research that will attract future investment as well as employment and skills development in the area, while securing a long-term future for aviation.

The initial construction work started on 20 June 2022, with the first phase focused on ensuring the continued safe operation of aviation with upgrades to the main runway, markings and runway lighting, as well as development of part of the site for vehicle technology testing and safety research. Construction work is expected to be completed in September 2022.

During this period, the airport will be closed to all visiting aircraft. Businesses and private flyers based at Gamston will continue to be able to operate using an alternative runway (14/32).

Jonathan Hewett, chief executive at Thatcham Research comments: “We are extremely excited to begin to realise our ambition of creating a UK centre of excellence for vehicle technology research and safety assurance testing, as well as securing a long-term future for aviation at Gamston.

“We have ambitious plans around employment and skills development at Gamston. We will be looking to create 30 jobs in this first phase, through the recruitment of key engineering and support roles from across the area, as well as transferring some of our staff from Berkshire to Gamston.

“We are also exploring opportunities with Bassetlaw District Council on extending the training and skills development that we already undertake for the automotive repair industry, with more than 3,500 technicians and apprentices benefitting from our training every year.

“In terms of this phase of the construction, we’re doing all we can to ensure that it has limited impact on the local community, and are working closely with our contractors to minimise noise and disruption, as well as making sure that aviation can continue. If you have any questions or concerns, then please do contact us on: manager@retfordairport.co.uk”

Cllr Jo White, Cabinet Member for Regeneration at Bassetlaw District Council comments: “I am very pleased to welcome Thatcham Research to Bassetlaw and I’m thrilled that they have chosen our district as a home for their new UK centre of excellence.

“Their presence and investment at Gamston will be a step-change for the area in terms of the new technology that Thatcham will bring, but also for the higher skilled employment opportunities that will be developed.

“This is the beginning of a partnership that will benefit Thatcham and Bassetlaw and I’m excited to see how this flourishes and develops over the coming months and years.”

Thatcham Research received planning permission from Bassetlaw District Council in August 2021 to develop Retford (Gamston) Airport as a dual operations site, and became owners of Gamston Aviation Limited (GAL) who run the airport in December 2021.

Notes to Editor

Thatcham Research is the independent voice of automotive safety, security & repair, advising motorists, insurers and vehicle manufacturers to help reduce accident frequency, severity and costs and to realise the vision of ‘Safer cars, fewer crashes’, while driving standards in vehicle security.

As well as its world leading crash and track research, Thatcham Research develops repair methods amongst a number of other products and services within the collision repair industry for insurers, motor manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

In addition, Thatcham Research has administered the Association of British Insurer’s (ABI) Group Rating system for the past 50 years. Group Rating is an advisory system intended to provide insurers with the relative risk of private cars and light commercial vehicles.

A founder member of the international Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR), Thatcham Research has also been a member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) since 2004.

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Thatcham Research is the independent voice of automotive safety, security & repair, advising motorists, insurers and vehicle manufacturers to help reduce accident frequency, severity and costs and to realise the vision of ‘Safer cars, fewer crashes’, while driving standards in vehicle security.

As well as its world leading crash and track research, Thatcham Research develops repair methods amongst a number of other products and services within the collision repair industry for insurers, motor manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

In addition, Thatcham Research has administered the Association of British Insurer’s (ABI) Group Rating system for the past 50 years. Group Rating is an advisory system intended to provide insurers with the relative risk of private cars and light commercial vehicles.

A founder member of the international Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR), Thatcham Research has also been a member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) since 2004.

Press contacts

James Smith

James Smith

Press contact Head Of Communications 01635 293101
Kate Bailey

Kate Bailey

Press contact Communications Executive PR & Communication +44 7384 830 461

Thatcham Research

Safer cars, fewer crashes...

As the UK's only insurer funded automotive research centre, Thatcham Research enjoy a wide remit at the forefront of the latest vehicle technology. Thatcham's leading work in vehicle safety and security has a vital role in shaping the designs of new vehicles, whilst the centre is also seen as a key industry player at the forefront of driving standards in vehicle body repair.

Thatcham's Crash Laboratory is the only official UK crash testing centre for consumer safety body Euro NCAP and are viewed as a centre of excellence when it comes to active vehicle safety, particularly the evaluation of new Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) which provide the foundation for future vehicle autonomy.

Enjoying an increasingly global influence in both the insurance and automotive sectors, Thatcham Research expertise is in great demand with a range of opinion leaders being regularly asked to provide their experience and know-how at high profile events and in the media, living up to their reputation as ‘Experts in Safety, Security and Crash Repair’.

Thatcham Research
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