Manchester

BAE Systems' Woodford site could become film studios

Nimrod plane at Woodford site
Image caption The Nimrod project was scrapped in the Strategic Defence and Security Review

Aircraft hangars at the BAE Systems site in Stockport could be turned into film studios, the BBC understands.

The 500-acre site is due to close in March 2012, after defence cuts forced the scrapping of the Nimrod project.

BAE confirmed it has accepted an offer for the site and more details would be released when the sale was completed.

It is understood screen agency Vision + Media is in negotiations with BAE. It said it could not comment until the deal was finalised.

The Nimrod project was abandoned by the government in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). It was claimed it would save the Ministry of Defence an estimated £2bn over the next decade.

Several Nimrod MRA4 surveillance and reconnaissance planes had already been built but were broken up earlier this year at a cost of £200m.

Hundreds of jobs have been shed at the site with more at other BAE sites in Lancashire and east Yorkshire.

Stockport and Cheshire East councils have consulted local residents about the future of the site.

Paul Lawrence, from Stockport Council, said they were trying to secure a "bright future for the Woodford Aerodrome site".

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