Local views welcome on vision for Plymouth’s new IT Hub
Plymouth Science Park are inviting feedback on the vision for their new IT hub. Members of the public and business community have been invited to view the proposed designs and meet members of the project team at an exhibition between 2 and 7pm at Plymouth Science Park on Thursday 30th April.
Planned to open early in 2017, the £7 million 27,000 square foot development will provide high quality flexible office space for up to 200 people.
With Bam Construction now confirmed as preferred bidder for the design and construction of the project, images will be displayed, which show the building as a striking presence at the entrance of the Park.
The design, by Plymouth-based architects HLM, is for a flexible space, which can accommodate an IT business’s fast growth. With flexible internal layouts, office spaces can quickly be adapted to accommodate staff numbers ranging from 10 and 70. Committed to nurturing interactions between its businesses, the Park is ensuring that 30 per cent of the three-storey building is dedicated to communal space.
Clad with zinc-coloured aluminium, the exterior walls feature striking glass ‘pop outs’, which provide a number of informal meeting spaces that create a striking image to the front of the Park. Landscaping around the development will also give businesses attractive outdoor seating areas, and the businesses are south facing with views across Seaton valley.
The designs have an emphasis on environmental sustainability and efficiency, as well as built-in leading-edge technology to offer the best ICT infrastructure in the city. With a focus on digital innovation, development and capability, it will deliver sector-leading superfast broadband connectivity, network resilience and access to Plymouth Science Park’s Tier 3 Data Centre.
Through the new facility, the Park aims to attract ambitious businesses from the South West as well as enticing firms to relocate to Plymouth. It will create much-needed space for companies that outgrow their existing Plymouth Science Park premises and will generate opportunities for Plymouth University’s growing number of IT graduates.
Simon Chamberlain, Chair of the Plymouth Science Park Board, said: “We welcome people’s views and questions as we develop our vision for a world-class IT hub for Plymouth. We hope that businesses and local people will share our enthusiasm for this ambitious project and the innovative building designs.
“This new development directly responds to Plymouth’s need for high quality office space for growing IT firms. It will also help attract companies to the region, boosting Plymouth’s reputation for innovation and enterprise.”
Deputy leader of the Council, Councillor Peter Smith said: “This is the first building in the science park that will be seen from the roadside and we hope that people agree it makes a great impression. We want to hear what they think of the design and lay-out and would be really keen to see representatives of businesses thinking about expanding popping in to take a look.
“This scheme is moving at a great pace and this consultation gives people a flavour of what the future could look like.”
Professor David Coslett, Plymouth University, said: “This is an important and exciting addition to Plymouth’s Science Park and underlines the commitment to ensuring Plymouth is a ‘go to’ place for driving innovation. The digital economy is a crucial part of national strategy and it is important that Plymouth is well placed within it.”
Plymouth Science Park is a joint venture between Plymouth University and Plymouth City Council and is part of the Growth Acceleration and Investment Network (GAIN). It has supported more than 200 businesses since it opened nearly 20 years ago and is now home to a community of over 70 businesses employing more than 800 people.
The development is being funded by the partners with funding from the first round of the Growth Deal made by Government to the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership.