Exeter Science Park has marked the start of its next phase of growth with a turf-cutting ceremony at the site of two new ‘grow-on buildings’ which will bring hundreds of jobs to the area.
Built by Kier Construction, the buildings will provide 27,000 square feet of space. They are the first new speculative offices to be built in Exeter since 2008 and it is estimated that, upon completion, they will bring over 200 new jobs to the site.
The buildings are the first phase of a wider strategy for the Science Park which sets out a target for over 3,000 people employed in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) businesses on the site by 2034.
Dr Sally Basker, CEO of Exeter Science Park, said: “Our Science Park Centre was designed to nurture and support smaller businesses and is now 90% full. Many of our tenants have enjoyed rapid growth in recent years and the new grow-on space is the logical next step for these companies, as well as being the ideal location for businesses looking to relocate to the South West.”
“The new buildings will help to create our first street and change the dynamic of the park with increased footfall. We’re excited for the next phase of the Science Park’s growth.”
The new buildings have been designed to attract a number of specialist, fast-growth businesses to the region, thus enhancing Exeter’s economy and job prospects.
Kier Construction started on site on 6th November 2017 and the project is due to be delivered in October 2018. The start of the project was marked with a turf-cutting ceremony on Thursday, November 16.
Brian Rice, Kier Operations Director for Devon and Cornwall commented: “We are delighted to be starting on work on the next phase of Exeter Science Park and the continued expansion is great news for Exeter. The strength in location, coupled with the business support available, is a winning combination to encourage STEMM organisations to relocate to the area.”
The two-storey buildings have been designed by LHC Architecture + Urbanism, working for NPS South West Property Consultants.
Steve Hellier, Associate Director at NPS, said: “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 fit-outs.
“We’re thrilled to be working on such an impressive project that will be an asset to Exeter and the wider region, and we are looking forward to seeing the progress on the site in the coming months.”
The two buildings can be configured to provide bespoke office and laboratory space, ranging from 1,700 to 10,000 square feet. Early demand for the buildings includes pharmaceutical, automotive technology, agritech and fintech related businesses.
Picture shows: Dr Sally Basker, CEO of Exeter Science Park; Professor Sir William Wakeham, Chairman Exeter Science Park Board; Brian Rice, Kier Operations Director for Devon and Cornwall; and Steve Hellier, Associate Director at NPS.
Picture credit: Guy Newman, KOR Communications