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Date published: 14th May 2022

The decommissioned area of RAF Neatishead has been acquired by the Academy of Robotics, who will use the land as a site for the company’s headquarters and a research and innovation centre for autonomous robotics.

The company are relocating from Surrey to Norfolk, where the 19 building, 250,000sq ft site, complete with hangars, welding shops, workshops, small road network and test tracks will provide space for technological innovation, a private residence for company CEO William Sachiti, and additional expansive space for further sustainable research and development.

Academy of Robotics focuses on licensing its technology to large organisations where its technology can relieve pressure or provide a contact-free service. To date, its self-driving technology has already been used for delivering medicines to care homes and running errands to support RAF personnel and being used to pre-emptively detect road damage.

Having operated trials of its self-driving delivery technology on the public roads in the UK since November 2020, the company now has several commercial contracts in place and is in the process of scaling up its technology and production of its vehicles to meet the demand.

CEO & Founder of Academy of Robotics, William Sachiti said:

This is a pivotal stage in the growth of Academy of Robotics and we are moving fast to get set up on the site. RAF Neatishead is a technologically complex site and while this isnt a problem for us, getting all the details right is critical and that means being on hand almost 24/7. Being able to live on site and to offer accommodation for members of the team is a great advantage during this intensive, fast-paced phase of the works.

We set out to design technology to solve one of the biggest problems, felt by the greatest number of people and we believe it makes sense, not only to engage as many people as possible in that process, but also to enable them to benefit from the success and growth of the company. We hope that by establishing our company in Norfolk, we can also create new opportunities for the community here."

The Council welcomes the significant investment into the future of autonomous technology in North Norfolk and the employment opportunity this brings to the local area.

Cllr Richard Kershaw, portfolio holder for Sustainable Growth at North Norfolk District Council commented:

“We’re extremely pleased to see the historic RAF Neatishead site is once again set to become a centre of technological excellence and innovation. We’ve already been working with Academy of Robotics to assist with their move and are keen to continue to support their work and the opportunities it presents for sustainable and economic development in North Norfolk.

It’s great to see high quality, technical jobs and industry coming into the District, creating a space in North Norfolk to be at the forefront of research in this field and the continued confidence in our region as an area of innovation and development.

North Norfolk District Council look forward to working closely with the Academy of Robotics to achieve these goals.”

Last updated: 12th April 2023