December 10 2013 Latest news:
By shaun lowthorpe Business editor
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
The first phase of a major expansion of Norfolk’s science-based businesses will get under way this month following the award of a £11.5m contract.
Contractors Morgan Sindall have won the deal to build the new Centrum Building at the Norwich Research Park following a competitive tender process in a move which could create up to 80 new jobs at the height of construction work.
The flagship scheme is a key plank of Project 26 – a major drive to expand the park following the award of £26m from the government in 2011.
The building will provide approximately 4,000 square metres of office, laboratory, business and social space in a new multi-storey building and the contract will also cover the delivery of improvements to the car parks, lighting, road junctions and IT infrastructure.
Backers said the total package would pave the way for developing a thriving research and innovation campus over the next decade and beyond by supporting spin-out and start-up companies and through attracting inward investment from large corporate organisations involved in science and technology.
Work is expected to start on site at the end of the month, with the building opening planned for May 2014.
Gavin Napper, area director for Morgan Sindall, said: “We’re delighted to have been appointed to this landmark project. The Centrum building is a key aspect of the wider development of the Norwich Research Park and we are looking forward to being a part of the exciting and ambitious development plan.
“The new building will provide researchers with world-leading facilities, while also providing contemporary office and social space, which will help to facilitate engagement between the science and business communities.”
Alan Giles, project director of Norwich Research Park, said: “We are pleased to award Morgan Sindall this contract after a rigorous OJEU tender process.
“This is an important milestone in the development of the research park and the Centrum will be the focal point for business and research to come together.
“Centrum will provide additional commercial laboratory and office accommodation for more established companies wishing to locate to Norwich Research Park and for companies already on the Park, it will provide them with the grow-on space in which to further expand their business.”
The £26m of funding was awarded through the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) in the 2011 budget.
It has been awarded to improve the Park’s IT infrastructure, road network and provide new flagship buildings.
The Centrum development will be located centrally on the Norwich Research Park next to the existing recreation centre and conference centre on the John Innes Centre site.
It will provide a hub for the local science and business community, and will also facilitate collaboration amongst the research park’s occupants.