Airfield site with a proud history

An airfield was first built on the site during 1942-43 by JR Mowlem and Co with the first RAF personnel detachment arriving on June 1, 1943.

RAF Market Harborough – sometimes referred to locally as RAF Lubenham – was home to a squadron of 61 Vickers Wellington bombers, which flew on day and night missions, and later Hawker Hurricanes and Curtiss Tomahawk fighter planes.

At the end of the Second World War in 1945, 14 OTU (Operational Training Unit) as it was officially known, was one of the first bomber training units to be disbanded.

Market Harborough was closed as an active airfield on August 18 1945 and from that date was reduced to a care and maintenance basis.

In 1948 the Army took over the station and it became known as 72 BVD (Brigade Vehicle Depot) before the army finally left Harborough in the late 1950s.

An application to develop the site was first submitted in 1990 – a time when Harborough’s cattle market was due for the axe and it was felt Airfield Farm would be a good place to relocate it.

Three years later the application to develop the land for offices, leisure use and an agricultural showground got outline planning permission.

Plans for a Christian theme park complete with a reconstruction of the Garden of Eden were mooted in 1997.

But nothing became of the plans and, following ten years of planning applications and discussions, outline planning permission for business and office use on a 20-acre section of the site was granted in February 2007.

Work to build on the site, now known as Airfield Business Park, began in May 2008 and is expected to be completed in January.