Marshall's of Cambridge and Cranfield University have reached an agreement in principle to relocate Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group to Bedfordshire by 2030.
The move, which has been discussed over a number of months will cause concern for those working at the site who may have to relocate.
The company have signed an option agreement on a 150 year lease for land at Cranfield after a lengthy search to find a new base so Cambridge airfield can be redeveloped for 12 thousand homes.
The deal - if it happens - would be part of Cranfield University's plans to create a Global Research Airport.
It's understood that RAF Wyton are still an option for MADG, despite today's announcement.
Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group Chief Executive, Gary Moynehan, said: “Whilst it is important to note that the signing of the Option Agreement does not represent a final decision to relocate Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group to Cranfield, we are pleased to have reached an agreement which provides us with a credible relocation option."
Marshall's have already said they're hoping to retain most of the 1,500 jobs at the Cambridge site.
Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Cranfield University, said: “We are delighted to be progressing our talks with Marshall through the signing of this option agreement. Located at the heart of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, Cranfield with its global research airport and MADG would provide a vibrant ecosystem of research, technology demonstration and innovation in aerospace that is unrivalled in the UK.