Pair of applications promise investment and job creation at former RAF site

Plans for two employment schemes at the former RAF Church Fenton site have been lodged with Selby District Council.

A Reserved Matters planning application has been submitted for the first phase of the Create Yorkshire ‘creative hub’, which achieved outline planning approval in July 2020.

The Reserved Matters applications would deliver two buildings – providing four new film/TV studios – and a purpose-built office for Create Yorkshire, all dedicated to the creative, digital and media sector.

While not included at the current time, future phases of the Create Yorkshire scheme shall also feature space for ancillary services such as cafes and restaurants for visitors and people working on the site.

This project builds on the demand for additional creative space at Church Fenton following the success of ITV’s historical drama show, Victoria. This had its first two series filmed at Church Fenton, along with other recent TV productions including series two of the BBC’s Gentleman Jack, which started broadcasting on 10 April.

Church Fenton has been revived by family-run business Makins Ltd with a mix of media, food and beverage, construction, and aviation businesses at the site.

The second major investment is to deliver a new facility for BCA, a fully digital B2B used vehicle marketplace supported by its own in-house fulfilment and logistics services.

BCA is seeking approval to use two existing buildings and a further purpose-built 32,600 sq ft arrival building and 75,300 sq ft production hub. New dedicated car parking space would also be provided.

If this is approved, BCA could deliver hundreds of jobs at Church Fenton, including high skilled engineering roles and apprenticeships for local young people.

The Create Yorkshire and BCA schemes have been prepared and submitted by Pegasus Group, Alan Wood and Partners, BWB and WEL.

Chris Makin, of Makins Ltd, said: “We’re very proud of what we have achieved since purchasing the Church Fenton site in 2014, helping to create a large number of jobs along the way.

“These two projects are a significant milestone which would deliver a multi-million pound investment in the North Yorkshire economy as well as hundreds of jobs with many opportunities for local people.

“The submission of these plans takes us a step closer to maximising the potential of this outstanding site.”

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