Council experts monitor airship shed restoration at Cardington


The council’s building department has been awarded a contract to monitor the refurbishment of the historic Shed One at Cardington after a hole was spotted in the roof in July.

Bedford Borough Council’s Building Control has been asked to monitor the work, which is being done by landowners Fosbern. It comes as the condition of the shed has deteriorated and is in significant need of repair.

In October 2012 refurbishment work started on Hangar Number 1, with large sections of the roof being replaced. The small dots beneath the balloon are men working on the roof, who give some impression of the scale of the task.
Photo by Giles Read

CField Construction Ltd is now well under way with the refurbishment works and Building Control will monitor it through to completion, which is expected to take around 18 months.

Fosbern and CField said they had awarded the contract to Bedford Building Control in part due to the team’s wealth of experience in working with similar buildings as well as maintaining an excellent working relationship with Bedfordshire and Luton Fire Service and Historic England.

Shed One was originally built in 1916-17 by the Short Brothers, who were developing airships for the Admiralty (formerly the authority responsible for the command of the Royal Navy). It was expanded between 1924 and 1926 and has since been used for a wide variety of purposes.

Councillor Sarah-Jayne Holland said: “The Cardington Sheds are iconic buildings and can be seen for miles across the borough.

However, the oldest shed is in serious need of repair to ensure it remains in place for generations to come.

“It is therefore good news that this repair work is now taking place and as the council’s Building Control team is responsible for monitoring it we can help to play a part in ensuring this historic piece of the borough remains for future generations.”


Photo courtesy of

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