Gamston: The Next Chapter

About Thatcham Research

Thatcham Research was established by the motor insurance industry in 1969, and remains the only not-for-profit insurer funded research centre in the UK. We hold a unique position thanks to our involvement and engagement with vehicle manufacturers, regulators, law enforcement organisations, automotive bodies and insurers to provide a holistic view of the benefits or shortcomings of vehicle technologies. Our research is at the forefront of vehicle safety, security and repair.


Thatcham Research acquired Gamston Aviation Ltd. in December 2021.


The development of the site allows us to increase the already significant contribution we make to vehicle and road safety and secure a sustainable future for aviation.
Our investment creates a dual-purpose facility that North Nottinghamshire can be proud of. It gives us a suitable home for the crucial testing and research we carry out to ensure current and future mobility technology is safe, is introduced effectively, and will benefit society. It also secures a future whereby aviation will continue to operate at the site.

Our vision for the future

We are moving towards a new era of mobility that will embrace electric vehicles, fully automated cars. But the technology that will pave the way for this exciting future must be safe. The testing and research our world-renowned engineers will conduct within our Safety & Assurance Centre for Connected & Automated Mobility Solutions at Retford Gamston Airport will provide the vital safety assurance, leadership, and strategic direction that’s required for the safe implementation and adoption of new technologies.


Our data-driven insights and risk analytics will not only ensure safe adoption but will also safeguard the UK’s position as a leader in the Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) mobility space and drive positive societal change. Our work will also allow insurers to provide effective mobility insurance, create employment, support the local economy and maintain aviation at the site.


Aviation will continue at the site, and we are committed to maintaining a licensed runway and providing storage for aircraft. The Statutory consultee, the CAA and the CAA’s Airfield Advisory Team have already said dual operations can work and developing the means to deliver is our priority.


Our vision for the site and its sustainability, combined with a robust operational plan to ensure the safety of staff, businesses and existing users will ensure that the site continues to play a key role in the region as an employer and creates a world-class mobility research hub for the automotive and aviation industries, upon which to build for the future.