Hilger Crystals plan for new global HQ at Manston Business Park

How it could look Image Turner Jackson Day Associates

Hilger Crystals proposes to create a new headquarters at Manston Business Park.

The firm, currently located at Westwood Industrial Estate in Margate, wants to build a two and one-storey site for office, research and development use plus storage, a first floor roof terrace and solar panels on land off Spitfire Way.

The firm produces commercial-grade, synthetic scintillation crystals used in infrared spectroscopy and state-of-the-art detection equipment.

The proposed new global HQ would be on agricultural land which has been earmarked for business use in Thanet’s Local Plan.

Image Turner Jackson Day Associates

It has been designed as a bespoke building for the requirements of Hilger Crystals. The main entrance glazed turret has been developed as a contemporary incorporation of a prominent design feature from the previous Hilger Crystals building that was damaged by fire.

Image Turner Jackson Day Associates

The new site would have 64 parking spaces for staff and visitors and will include tree and hedge planting.

Hilger Crystals evolved from Adam Hilger (founded in 1874) to manufacture precision optical and mechanical instruments. Manufacturing was set up in London with a few employees who specialised in the manufacture of precision optical and mechanical instruments.

Today it is based in Margate with some 35 employees. Its current building is at the rear of the site which was hit with a 25 day blaze in 2018 when a warehouse packed with 6,000 bales of household and construction waste went up in flames. That warehouse was once the site of Hilger and Watts Ltd which was responsible for making scientific instruments that were used in Colonel John Glenn’s space capsule.

A decision on the planning application has not yet been made.

Photos: When fire hit Westwood unit was thriving Hilger and Watts factory


  1. Could the present Westwood Industrial Estate in the future become a housing estate. Every present unit needs updating or relocating. However, the Manston Business Park is poorly served by employee parking facilities.

  2. Great move – they will be able to fly every thing in and out globally once Manston airport is operational again.

Comments are closed.