Hangar ’42

Posted on by Bruntingthorpe Events

The UK’s newest conference and exhibition venue has opened in the heart of the nation.  Hangar ’42 proudly served the RAF during WW2 and the USAAF during the Cold War.  Today it has been totally refurbished and transformed at a cost of £2 million into a modern, practical and fully-equipped 36,000-sq-ft venue adjacent to Bruntingthorpe Airfield and Proving Ground and close to the M1 in Leicestershire.

Performing the formal opening ceremony, Councillor Blake Pain, leader of Harborough District Council and Leicestershire County Council cabinet member with responsibility for tourism and economic development, predicted that Hangar ’42 would be a huge success.  “Until now we’ve had nothing like it in Harborough district.  It is going to be a huge success.”

He congratulated C Walton Ltd., owners of Bruntingthorpe Airfield and Proving Ground since 1983, on the investment to preserve an historic building while turning it into an ultra-modern facility that would bring significant business to the region.

Paul Atkin, General Manager for Business Development at Bruntingthorpe, told an audience of invited exhibitions and conference planners that virtually every aspect of the former aircraft hangar had been renewed.  “The high-insulation walls, the floor and the roof are all new.  Only the original structure remains, and even that has been reinforced in case someone wants to hang a vehicle from it!”

With its marble-floored 3,000-sq-ft main entrance and reception – an addition to the former aircraft hangar – the new conference and exhibition centre is equipped to accommodate significant numbers.  It has the capacity to accommodate 1,500-plus people and there is parking for more than 400 vehicles.

Hangar ’42 sits outside the proving ground’s high-security fence and has its own vehicle access.  However, if users of the new facility want to take advantage of the test tracks and corporate events facilities offered by Bruntingthorpe, there is a unique access to the proving ground from the car park.

Mr Atkin said everything that exhibition organisers could want had been incorporated in the refurbished Hangar ’42, from Wi-Fi and efficient heating and air-management systems to individually-programmable lights and an LED lighting system that could emulate any corporate or brand colour scheme.  “We’ve made Hangar ’42 extremely flexible – almost a blank canvas – so that whoever uses it can fashion it to their own requirements.”

A number of nearby hotels, catering companies and service providers were invited to mount displays inside Hangar ’42 for the formal opening.  David Walton, Managing Director of Bruntingthorpe Airfield and Proving Ground, where approaching 500 people are employed on the 680-acre site, said it was important to highlight the excellent hotel and catering facilities available within a very short distance of the new facility.  “We work closely with many local organisations and regard boosting the economy in the area as an important role.  We also enjoy the obvious geographical benefit of being at the heart of the country and very close to the M1 – the backbone of the nation’s motorway network.”

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