News Archive


St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, has been selected as the preferred developer for the former RAF Locking site, now known as Locking Parklands.

The selection of St. Modwen has been made by the joint owners of the former RAF Locking site, the South West RDA and English Partnerships, the national regeneration agency, and will enable the next stage of public consultation to take place.

Located near Weston-super-Mare, Locking Parklands is destined to become a new 82-hectare mixed use community where people will choose to live and work.

Ian Knight, area director at the South West RDA, said: “This is fantastic news for Weston-super-Mare and is an important step in the wider economic regeneration of the town, helping unlock its business potential.

“We aim to create a visionary, sustainable community providing homes, jobs and community facilities at Locking Parklands. This will provide a long term solution to the employment opportunities in the town. St. Modwen’s credentials are an ideal fit for this type of regeneration project.”

David Warburton, area director for English Partnerships, said: “English Partnerships and the South West RDA have been working closely with North Somerset Council to promote a mixed-use development at RAF Locking in line with regional priorities and needs.

“We feel that St Modwen is ideally suited to meet the demands of the community. We are delighted to see the project moving ahead.”

Ian Guy, senior development managerat St. Modwen, said: “We are delighted to be appointed to this major project which we believe is a great opportunity to achieve a unique and highly sustainable community. We believe the vision for Locking Parklands is truly ahead of its time. Creating a place which brings together new homes, jobs and community facilities is a style of development which meets many of the challenges of modern-day living.

“The fact that we now also have our first commitment from an occupier is testimony to the investment being made and the support for this project.”

It is proposed that the first phase of commercial development will be a 3,000 sq m innovation centre to attract entrepreneurial companies, providing them with the facilities and support to help them develop and grow; as well as a 2,000 sq moffice building. St Modwen will be working on a planning application for these two buildings in the coming months.

Designer and manufacturer of hi-technology products for industry, Oxford Instruments, has confirmed its commitment to relocating the company to the site when key facilities are underway. Plans include a high tech manufacturing facility, research and development laboratories, office areas and customer hospitality suites.

Andy Matthews, managing director of Plasma technology, Oxford Instruments, stated: “We are committed to moving the business to Locking Parklands. We have re-examined when the best time would be for our relocation and have decided this should be when the construction of key buildings, specifically the innovation centre, has started. This allows us to complete our ambitious new product development program, and make further improvements to our operations and logistics, in advance of the relocation.”

The main focus for St Modwen will now be to engage the community with the next phase of public consultation in order to refine the masterplan and to prepare a planning application for the first phase of employment.


Notes to Editors:

1. The South West RDA leads the development of a sustainable economy, investing to unlock the region’s business potential. It works in partnership with public, private and social purpose organisations to drive up the region’s productivity by giving people the skills they need, encouraging enterprise, improving infrastructure, regenerating places, and promoting the strengths of the region. For more information see

2. English Partnerships is the national regeneration agency helping the Government to support high quality sustainable growth in England by creating well-served mixed communities where people enjoy living and working. In collaboration with the Housing Corporation, the Academy for Sustainable Communities and Communities and Local Government, we are establishing the new Homes and Communities Agency that will begin operating in 2009. For more information on our work, please visit

3. St. Modwen is the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, operating across the full spectrum of the property industry through a network of seven regional offices and a Birmingham based head office. The company is wholly focussed upon regeneration with expertise in town centre regeneration, partnering industry, brownfield land renewal and heritage restoration.

For further information please contact:

Sue Dawson

Spirit Public Relations on behalf of South West RDA

T: 0117 944 1415


Di Collins

English Partnerships

T: 01233 651730


Gwyneth Moore

Equinox PR on behalf of St Modwen

T: 02920 764100