BAE Systems – Samlesbury

Futuristic and functional: A journey of innovation

For the past 90 years, aerospace history has been engineered just outside the quiet Lancashire village of Samlesbury.

The site was first earmarked for a municipal airport, and the subsequent aerodrome and workshops delivered bombers during World War II. After the war, innovative craft including the De Havilland Vampire and English Electric Lightening were built there, and it produced parts for Concorde.

Project details

  • Customer: BAE Systems
  • Architects: The Fairhurst Design Group Ltd/BAM Design/Capita Symonds/Wilson Mason
  • Project Manager: Christal Construction Management Ltd/Wilson Mason
  • Quantity Surveyor: Gleeds/Henry Riley LLP
  • Structural Engineers: Gifford/TRP Consulting
  • M&E Services Engineers: Hayden Young/Capita Symonds

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351 Fact icon acres covered by the Samlesbury campus
4,500+ Fact icon people work at the hi-tech site
10% Fact icon expansion has been allowed for in building the Samlesbury facilities

Dynamic inspiration

The current owner, BAE Systems, has invested millions to transform Samlesbury into a state-of-the-art production site. 

Work started in 2007, and BAM has not only delivered buildings – from the striking reception with its design inspired by fighter jets to high-specification specialist manufacturing facilities – but also energy-efficient infrastructure.

The steel and glass-clad entrance building makes a dramatic statement for visitors entering the site. The complex geometry of the structure posed a real engineering challenge: but the result is elegant and light yet angular, like the aircraft to which it pays homage.

Two massive office buildings provide modern working space for over 1,400 staff.

Advanced manufacturing

When it comes to the manufacturing facilities, a major challenge has been to maintain tight environmental controls in the machine halls.

This is essential to ensure that components are manufactured in exactly the same environmental conditions as other elements of the aircraft around the world.

Behind the scenes, BAM has also been involved in delivering practical elements, from roads and car parks to renewable energy projects, to help meet BAE Systems’ stringent environmental targets.