Plans for new ’grow-on’ space at Exeter Science Park have been given the go-ahead by East Devon District Council, launching 18,500 sq ft of premium office and laboratory space on to the market.
Two new buildings, and a new car park for visitors, will be the latest developments on the Park following construction of the Science Park Centre, Eagle House and the new Met Office High Performance Computer (HPC) complex.
Work is scheduled to start on the two buildings in early 2017, including a 17,000 sq ft building, half of which will be home to a leading veterinary clinical pathology firm, Torrance Diamond Diagnostic Services (TDDS).
The other 8,500 sq ft plus a separate 10,000 sq ft building will be available for occupation during 2018, providing the first speculative office space in Exeter since 2008.
TDDS, currently based at the Innovation Centre at the University of Exeter, have been heavily involved in the design and layout for the new headquarters, ensuring that the building will provide them with a flexible and comfortable working space for pathology labs, bio-security labs, and training facilities.
The two-storey buildings, designed by the Exeter studio of LHC Architecture + Urbanism will provide prospective R&D-intensive businesses the unique opportunity to shape their offices or lab space to their specific requirements. All aspects of the design and layout are completely adaptable, so the building can be divided up in a variety of different configurations and can also accommodate specialist equipment and laboratory fit-outs.
Exeter Science Park is matching TDDS’s contribution for the 17,000 sq ft building, made possible through the Growth Deal 2 funding grant for £4.5m from Heart of South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which will also fund the 10,000 sq ft grow-on building.
Robert McIlwraith, Exeter Science Park Director said: “The construction of speculative office space at the Park highlights the growth and increased confidence that we are seeing in the wider South West. What is really exciting is that not only are we able to deliver a custom designed new headquarters for TDDS, but we are able to offer other R&D-intensive businesses the chance to shape the work space to meet their exact requirements.
Gerry Shattock, General Manager of Exeter Science Park said: “The planning approval for these two new buildings and a visitor’s car park is an exciting milestone in our development. This will give our Science Park Centre tenants the reassurance that there is space to grow within the Park as well as offering prospective tenants the opportunity to design their own office or laboratory but with flexible leases. Overall the impact will be to enrich the mix of young, high-growth businesses and further strengthen the enterprise community here.”
Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Steve Hindley, said: “Exeter Science Park is one of our key Growth Deal projects and has benefitted from investment from each round of the Growth Deal as well as a loan from the Growing Places fund. Investment in the Science Park demonstrates ours, and the government’s confidence in the project as a catalyst for growth and employment in the local economy. The Science Park is in one of the Heart of the South West’s Enterprise Zones, along with Huntspill in Somerset and Oceansgate in Plymouth, which present a competitive offer for inward investors in a national and international market.”
The Science Park is being developed by Exeter Science Park Ltd, whose shareholders are Devon County Council, the University of Exeter, Exeter City Council and East Devon District Council.
To find out more about TDDS visit www.tddslab.co.uk or follow the team on Twitter @TDDSLAB