The development of the latest and greenest new building on Exeter Science Park has reached a major milestone.
The £5 million Grow-Out Space, which is net-zero carbon for operational energy, will house up to 100 jobs in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine sectors (STEMM), helping to drive the South West’s economic recovery post-Covid.
A ‘topping out’ ceremony has taken place at the new three-storey building, just off J29 of the M5, to mark a key stage of the build. Due for completion in November, the first tenants are expected to take up residence by the end of the year.
As the latest analysis from the KPMG UK Economic Outlook Report reveals, the South West economy saw the fastest growth of all UK regions in summer 2020 and the new Grow-Out Space is to play a significant role in supporting companies and infrastructure in the future.
The 14,000 sq ft building has been designed to provide flexible office and laboratory space for up to 11 firms. It will be net-zero carbon for operational energy and BREEAM Excellent, a method used to assess its sustainability.
It offers a stepping stone for maturing businesses hoping to move on from the Science Park Centre’s incubation space which is for small, fast growing companies. When these existing tenants move into the new facility they will release space for smaller start- ups looking to move onto the site.
Dr Sally Basker, CEO of Exeter Science Park, said: “Getting to this point has required outstanding collaboration. Everyone has played their part and the hard work of colleagues at Exeter Science Park, Morgan Sindall, NPS South West Limited and the Southern Construction Framework, has really made this happen. This quick turnaround has seen us save up to 33% of the time involved, compared to a conventional build programme.
“Exeter Science Park helps innovative STEMM companies to deliver extraordinary growth and these are exactly the kinds of businesses that will help accelerate economic recovery and drive the economy forward as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. This
development marks the next important phase of growth for the Park and provides firms with new space to grow and thrive.”
Funding was secured in August 2020 from the Government’s ‘Getting Building Fund’ and allocated to Exeter Science Park by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) from their £35.4 million share of the national pot.
David Ralph, Chief Executive of the Heart of the South West LEP, said: “It’s fantastic to see this innovative new facility preparing to open at Exeter Science Park. It will provide valuable innovation space for STEMM businesses, supporting them to grow and boosting employment for the city and region.
“We’re delighted to support it with funding from HotSW LEP’s Getting Building Fund. Exeter Science Park is a thriving business location and has an important role to play as we look to rebuild local economies and build back better with a cleaner and more inclusive economy.”
Find out more about Exeter Science Park here.
‘Topping out’ ceremony of the Grow-Out Space at Exeter Science Park. Picture: © Rekord Media