Bicester is a town in the north east of the county of Oxfordshire. It is one of the fastest growing towns in the area, thanks partly to its excellent road and rail links to London, Oxford and Birmingham.
Our wind tunnel and our Aero Department are located on one of the many industrial estates that ring the town in its rural setting. Expansion is very rapid and last year it was designated as a new “garden city” by the British government, with the promise of up to 13,000 new homes to be built in the next few years. In fact, expansion has already begun with new housing estates springing up along the road that eventually leads to the university town of Oxford.
The historic market town was given a makeover a couple of years ago, while retaining its important features and buildings. The town centre has attracted more retail outlets and entertainment facilities with the main street now pedestrianised. In fact, Bicester’s most obvious claim to fame is its “Outlet Store” which attracts visitors from literally all over the world, especially the Far East.
It’s no surprise to find our Formula 1 facility here, as the town is in the middle of what is known as Formula 1’s Silicon Valley, with several F1 teams and a myriad number of suppliers to the sport all based in or around the area down the M4 and M40 corridor to the west of London. And Silverstone circuit itself, the home of British motorsport is only a half-hour drive away, although it takes possibly a while longer over the British Grand Prix weekend.
There is a constant dialogue between staff in Faenza and Bicester, but that aside, the English home to our wind tunnel does already have an Italian link, as the town is twinned with Novi Ligure, in Piedmont, Northern Italy.