Film director Guy Ritchie buys Compton Abbas Airfield in Dorset

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Guy Ritchie will own the airfield from February 2023. Credit: PA

Film director Guy Ritchie has purchased an airfield in Dorset.

Mr Ritchie revealed his plans for Compton Abbas Airfield (CAA) in a letter to its staff, nearby residents and the 'wider community'.

He bought the airfield, near Shaftesbury, from the Hughes family who have owned it for 34 years.

Ashcombe Estates Ltd, which is operated by Mr Ritchie, will take over the running of the airfield from February 2023.

In the letter, Mr Ritchie recognised the airfield as being at 'the heart of the flying community' for many years. He also pledged to operate the site 'in the spirit' of the Hughes family.

Compton Abbas Airfield is south of Shaftesbury in Dorset. Credit: Google

The letter adds: "We will make some improvements to the buildings and infrastructure, this will be done in a sympathetic manner, with the current community of users included in the planning.

"We will continue to operate the airfield for both resident and guest aircraft. Residents can continue to rent hanger space here. We will keep the cafe and bar running so that it will remain a regional destination for families.

"We want to maintain flying training but we cannot manage the flying school ourselves.

"We would like to discuss, with those currently involved in the school, ways that we could enable flying training activities to continue. Resident organisations which run independently of CAA will be welcome and encouraged to continue to operate.

“We will move some of the storage and workshop activities which currently take place at Ashgrove Farm to the airfield. This will not interfere significantly with current flying operations.

“There will be a carefully managed transition period with the Hughes family to ensure that nothing is rushed. As discussions develop, we will keep you up to date with plans and ensure there is opportunity for regular dialogue.”

A statement from Compton Abbas Airfield said: “Clive, Margaret, Emma and Laura would like to thank each and every one of you who has visited and been a part of life at the airfield over the last 34 years.

“Selling the airfield has been an incredibly difficult decision to make as it has been the focus of all our lives for so long, and we are certainly going to miss everyone who made our time there so enjoyable.

“However, we feel that now is the right time to hang up our hats, and we are looking forward to seeing some exciting developments unfold under the new owners.”