Business is on the up for high-tech drone developer in Aylesbury Vale

Flare Bright has expanded its staff and premises at Westcott Venture Park

By Hannah Richardson
Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 11:42 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 12:01 pm

A company that develops high-tech autonomous drones that can fly without GPS or remote control has expanded into larger premises at Westcott Venture Park, between Aylesbury and Bicester.

Flare Bright's new facility was unveiled by Buckingham MP Greg Smith on Monday, September 20.

During his visit, the MP witnessed the firm’s newly developed SnapShot drone technology - a micro-drone designed to capture instant aerial images in wind, adverse weather and constrained aerospace.

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Outside Flare Bright's new premises: Greg Smith MP, centre right, with chief commercial officer Chris Daniels, centre left, and CEO Kelvin Hamilton behind them

Earlier this year, Flare Bright won an Entrepreneur Award, for which it was nominated by Mr Smith.

Flare Bright has since won a £425,391 UK MOD Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) follow-up contract to deliver a fixed-wing drone that can fly without GPS or any remote control, when other drones are unflyable due to jamming and denial.

Developed using artificial intelligence, Flare Bright’s SnapShot technology is a fully autonomous system and will glide back to its user even without a GPS signal and in electromagnetically jammed environments.

The technology has a wide variety of applications from search and rescue to surveillance for police and fire operations.

The company has also been selected for the prestigious United States Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE).

Flare Bright moved to Westcott last year on the back of an initial £226,000 Ministry of Defence contract, starting with four staff members. It now employs 14 people at the larger new facility.

Chief commercial officer Chris Daniels said: "Being at Westcott and in Buckinghamshire has been great for Flare Bright. As we further grow our workforce, it is perfectly placed to attract talent to work here, and the facilities at Westcott are second to none.

"We're delighted with our new building and excited about the future growth opportunities it gives us."

Greg Smith said: “It's incredibly exciting to formally open Flare Bright's new expanded facilities here at Westcott.

"Flare Bright is exactly the sort of company we want and need to support the Buckinghamshire economy - high-tech innovators who, even through the pandemic, have expanded their headcount, creating new jobs, by three times.

"I wish them every success in the future and stand ready as the local MP to help and support them."

Westcott Business Park manager Jayne Cannell said: “It was fantastic to welcome Buckingham MP Greg Smith to Westcott today and we are delighted to have been able to provide move-on space at the park to Flare Bright.

“The company has taken a further 2,207sq ft of fully refurbished space on the park on a five-year lease.

"Flare Bright is a brilliant illustration of how we can help start-up technology businesses, and what a fantastic success story it has become.”