Marshall announces plans for the future


Marshall of Cambridge today makes important announcements about exciting and ambitious plans for the future of its businesses.  It intends to relocate Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (MADG) and to put forward the Cambridge Airport site for development.

The company writes:

1. We are announcing our intention to relocate our world‐class Marshall Aerospace  and Defence Group (MADG) as part of our commitment to invest in the long‐term  future of this unique, private company. 

2. Linked to the announcement about the planned relocation of MADG, we can also  confirm that we are putting forward the Cambridge Airport site for development as  part of the next Local Plan from 2030. 

We have always maintained that we will only consider these moves when we are confident  that  our  businesses  will  be  stronger  as  a  result  of  any move,  and  that  Cambridge  will benefit from the development of the site.  We believe that both of these criteria can now  be met, hence these linked announcements.  

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group has established a unique position and reputation  in its markets, and we are committed to increasing our investment in the business to build  on that success.  To realise our ambitions beyond the existing business planning cycle, we  have  concluded  that  we  need  to  invest  in  new,  state‐of‐the‐art  facilities  so  we  can  continue  to  focus  on  providing  exceptional  service  to  our  customers  in  the  UK  and  overseas.  The relocation, coupled with  the development of our land in Cambridge will  provide us with an extraordinary opportunity to achieve this. 

Cambridge has also been hugely successful and needs to grow to sustain its world‐leading  status.  The  Cambridge  Airport  site  spans  the  City  boundary  on the  East  side  and  we  believe  that,  including  the  Marleigh  development  which  is  already  underway  on  Newmarket  Road,  the  site  can  offer  the  12,000  homes  originally  envisaged  in  the  Cambridge East proposals  from more  than a decade ago, plus some  five million square  feet  of  business  and  commercial  space,  providing  the  jobs  necessary  to make  the  site  sustainable in the long term.   

Integrated, high‐speed public transport connections to the central railway station, the City Centre and other key sites in and around Cambridge will be essential to delivering such a plan and we look forward to working with the planning authorities and other stakeholders  to bring forward a compelling vision for the area, including the essential public transport  links.  

Supporting and retaining our existing valued and highly skilled workforce is essential for us and we have been working hard to identify possible, viable relocation sites which can  deliver this goal, before we could be in a position to make this announcement.   Whilst there is a great deal of work still to be done before any final decisions can be made,  having started with an initial long list of possible sites within easy reach of Cambridge, we  have  now  identified  three  preferred  locations which  could  be  viable  sites  for Marshall  Aerospace and Defence Group. In alphabetical order,  these are: Cranfield, Duxford and  Wyton. 

All three sites have much to offer Marshall, although each of them also has substantial  challenges which will have to be addressed before any final decision can be made.  It is  possible that one or more of these options may ultimately prove not to be viable.  We will  be progressing discussions with stakeholders for all three sites over the coming months  and expect to be in a position to make an announcement sometime next year.  

This is a huge undertaking which will require careful planning and we anticipate that we  will complete a move by 2030.  In the meantime, our complete focus is on our employees  and looking after our customers.  We have many significant contracts under way and have recently been increasingly successful in winning new business which will keep us busy for  many  years.    We  already  have  in  place  a  substantial  investment  programme  for  the  business  and  the  Cambridge  site,  including  the  refurbishment  of  several  of  our  ageing  hangars, and this will not be affected by the announcements today.  

Cambridge has been central to the success of Marshall over more than 100 years and the  continued  success  of  the  city  is  important  to  the  Company.    Even  when  Marshall  Aerospace and Defence Group  has  relocated,  our  other  businesses will  continue  to  be  based in Cambridge and we take seriously our commitment to be part of the community  in  perpetuity,  working  to  make  sure  that  any  building  on  the  airport  site  benefits  Cambridge and supports its growth ambitions for generations to come.  

Commenting on the announcement, Alex Dorrian, Executive Chairman of Marshall said:  “This  is  a  momentous  day  for  Marshall,  when  two  opportunities  coincide  to  create  a  launchpad  for  ambitious  long‐term  plans  for  the  future  of  Marshall  and  also  for  Cambridge.    Our  commitment  to  our  businesses,  our  employees,  and  to  Cambridge  is  driven directly by our shareholders.  This is the beginning of an exciting phase for Marshall,  during which time we will build on our success and focus ever more closely on delivering  a unique Marshall experience  to our customers.  There is a great deal of ground  to be  covered before any decisions can be announced and that work is now underway.  We will  also be working closely with the local planning authorities as they move to the next stage  of the development of the 2030+ Local Plan.”  

Marshall  of  Cambridge  was  founded  in  1909  and  now  comprises  three  principal  businesses:  Marshall  Aerospace and Defence Group; Marshall Group Properties; and Marshall Ventures which holds  the Group’s  65%  majority  shareholding  in  Marshall  Motor  Holdings  plc,  as  well  as  Marshall  Fleet  Solutions  and  the  Company’s investment arms, Martlet and MarQuity.  The combined Group has annual sales in excess of £2.5bn  and 6,000 employees.  For further information, please contact:  Christopher Walkinshaw  01223 373905 / 


Founded in 1909, the Marshall Group has a turnover of £2.5bn and over 5,700 employees. Headquartered on a 900-acre site in Cambridge, Marshall has three principal arms to the business: Aerospace and Defence; Property; and Ventures.

Marshall Group