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Multi-million boost for Norwich Research Park

PUBLISHED: 18:00 01 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:20 02 July 2010

An impression of the development at the Norwich Research Park.

An impression of the development at the Norwich Research Park.

Tara Greaves

New multi-million pound facilities at the Norwich Research Park, which will help drive research into climate change, will be created by a city-based construction company.

New multi-million pound facilities at the Norwich Research Park, which will help drive research into climate change, will be created by a city-based construction company.

Morgan Ashurst has won contracts worth £9.5m including a development at the John Innes Centre where scientists will research plants which could help in the fight against climate change.

They will also construct the first steam explosion pilot plan in the country, which allows scientists to explore ways of converting food chain waste into sustainable second generation biofuels, at the Institute of Food Research.

The firm, which has offices in Thorpe Road, will also create a new £5m Innovation Centre, which will be home to 30 high-quality laboratories and offices open to all expanding science businesses, in an existing three-storey building at the site.

The latter project, which is being delivered for joint venture company Colney Innovations Limited, is the first stage of a plan, reported in the Evening News, to create up to 5,000 new jobs in science and science-related businesses in a number of new buildings on the Norwich Research Park by 2021.

Finally, the company is constructing an energy-saving building which will accommodate the park's finance and IT departments, one of its data centres and an international training suite complete with laboratory facilities for the John Innes Centre.

Gavin Napper, Morgan Ashurst area for Norwich, said: “Morgan Ashurst has a strong track record in building complex, high-specification research and development facilities and we will be using all our expertise to deliver these projects at Norwich Research Park.

“As a company which strives to minimise our carbon footprint, we are extremely proud to be creating sustainable buildings which might play a major role in tackling key issues facing the environment.

“We also want to support the local economy by recruiting as many trades people as possible from the area to work with us on the project.”

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