Beds, Herts & Bucks

Cardington airship hangar and land sold for £10.5m

The Cardington Sheds Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hangar 1, on the left, has been sold, while Hangar 2 is home to a film and production studio

A former home of the UK's airship industry has been sold for £10.5m.

Hangar 1, a Grade II-listed building at Cardington airfield in Bedfordshire, once housed the world's longest aircraft Airlander 10.

The building, which is leased to filmmakers Warner Bros, and surrounding land was bought by Gallagher Developments. Both companies have declined to comment.

Supporters of the building are hopeful it could mean the return of airships.

The purchase is revealed on Land Registry documents, but the buyer has given no indication of what the future could hold for the building, also known as a shed.

It was previously owned by developer Fosbern and millions of pounds has been spent restoring the shed in recent years.

Alastair Lawson, vice chairman of the Airship Heritage Trust, said: "Personally speaking I would have liked the shed to still be available for airships and lighter than air activities, and its historical significance appreciated with a visitors/education centre/library, with perhaps tours made available to the general public."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hangar 1 housed Airlander 10 which carried out its first test flight from the building in August 2016

The building of Hangar 1 at Cardington began in 1916 and it opened the following year.

It used to house the R101 aircraft which crashed on its first long-distance flight in 1930 after taking off from Cardington.

Trevor Monk, who grew up in Cardington and is a supporter of the sheds, said: "I always think one day airships and balloons will come back to Cardington and I just hope that as Warner Brothers haven't purchased the building, the possibility of their return is alive still."

A spokesman for Gallagher Developments said: "It is not our policy to comment publicly on our business plans."

Plans have previously been submitted to Bedford Borough Council to build about 600 houses on land to the rear of the sheds.

Neighbouring Hangar 2 is home to Cardington Studios, a film and TV production studio.

It was used to film the Batman trilogy starring Christian Bale, as well as other movies including Inception and Pan.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hangar 1 also used to house the R101 aircraft which crashed on its first long-distance flight in 1930

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