A Norwich science and technology park has been given a major boost after plans for a new research and development building were approved.

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South Norfolk Council’s development management committee agreed to the Centrum building at Norwich Research Park in Colney Lane, which will provide new laboratory and office space for business tenants, as well as a ground floor “hub” for academic staff.

The decision, at a committee meeting yesterday, was welcomed by the park’s project director Alan Giles, who said the development would provide employment opportunities and economic growth for the world- class research centre.

He said: “We are delighted by this endorsement of our proposal and look forward to the next steps of this exciting project.

“The main driver for expansion of the park is economic development and job creation and our aim is to leverage the science excellence and reputation of Norwich Research Park to create a supportive environment for early stage, potential high-growth companies, to attract research-based businesses and generate new jobs on the park and surrounding area.”

The building is part of a £26m investment project to improve the park’s IT infrastructure, road network and provide new flagship buildings.

The four-storey centre will not just provide offices for cutting edge science and technology firms, but will also have a café and restaurant and a terrace providing views of a recreational area.

The building will provide 4,536sq m of floor space and there will also be 108 parking spaces and 50 cycle spaces. More than 11,000 people use the park. Of those 2,700 are research scientists.

dominic.bareham2@archant.co.uk

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