Building Foundations for Growth for Alconbury Campus' continued development

30/07/2014

Alconbury Campus is continuing its transformation with over £10m being invested in enabling work which will transform over 70 acres of the former airfield.

The work follows on from the recent completion of two gateway entrances, the tree-lined Boulevard and the award-winning Incubator building. It will see 70 acres of brownfield land around the Incubator cleared and remediated, with the first phase of the internal highways network and associated infrastructure put in place to enable site developers Urban&Civic to bring forward more buildings, jobs and enterprise to the Campus.

The delivery of this key phase has been made possible by working in partnership with Huntingdonshire District Council and Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership to secure grant funding from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG)’s Building Foundations for Growth Fund, and further investment direct from Urban&Civic.

Over the next few months the planned work will include:

  • demolition of 43 unused buildings within the phase 1 Enterprise Zone (EZ) area
  • removal of associated  former taxiways and intermediate hardstanding concreted areas
  • creation of two new "infrastructure nodes" with power, water and digital connectivity for over 800,000 sq ft of commercial space
  • extension of the existing boulevard  to create the initial road network within the phase 1 EZ area
  • complimentary landscaping, including the formation of the preliminary sustainable urban drainage systems to manage a slow and controlled release of surface water.

The work will provide a blank canvas of developable plots: spaces both for some planned new buildings and to progress negotiations with a number of businesses already in discussion about coming to the Campus.

Within this next phase of development, designs are being prepared for a business centre with meeting space, gym, restaurant and further small business space - to build on the success and demand for the Incubator. Plans are also being developed for the two buildings announced in the recent Growth Deal between Government and the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP): a leading engineering hub for TWI and a technical and vocational centre specialising in the built environment and engineering.

Tim Leathes, Project Director for site owners and developers Urban&Civic, said:

"We are very much looking forward to getting going with this next phase of works. It has been a real partnership effort to bring forward this next stage for the Enterprise Zone and help translate the interest from companies to date into creating new buildings and real jobs."

Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt said:

“Thanks to Government’s support for Enterprise Zones, Alconbury Campus is providing a huge boost for the local economy - already its space for new start up businesses is almost full, and today’s £5 million cash injection will help ensure that the campus can continue to expand. By paving the way for more high quality office space and supporting new businesses on site, Alconbury campus is helping deliver our long term economic plan to help secure a better future by spreading businesses, jobs and skills across the country”.

Grahame Nix, Chief Executive of the LEP, said:

“Being able to secure the BFG funding to support the private investment already committed to the site shows the priority we place on Alconbury Enterprise Campus not just for the creation of new jobs in our local area, but also as a significant asset to support the growth of the regional and national economy."

Cllr Jason Ablewhite, Executive Leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, added:

"Seeing the Incubator in full use, it is incredible how quickly you can feel the transformation of the former airfield into Alconbury Enterprise Campus taking shape.  It will be great to see more building activity bringing construction jobs in the first instance, and then businesses moving in to bring long term opportunities to the area.  The success of this bid further demonstrates the effectiveness of the public/private partnership approach within the region."

Much of the planned Enabling work for this next phase was granted planning permission in February 2012 in the Enterprise Zone Enabling Application, including most of the planned demolition work. A further series of planning applications has been submitted to Huntingdonshire District Council to enable implementation of this permission and to allow for additional works to support the full delivery of this stage of the Enterprise Zone. These applications include:

  • a discharge of conditions application relating to the demolition of buildings and the removal of hardstanding covered by the original Enterprise Zone Enabling Works Application. This enables the planning permission to be implemented by setting out Demolition Method Statements and work to be undertaken to minimise noise and dust and manage any hazardous materials.
  • an application for the prior notification of the demolition of 8 buildings not included in the Alconbury Enterprise Zone Enabling Works application from 2011, but necessary as part of these works.
  • a full application for the new highways works which will link in with the existing Boulevard and HCV Access.

The planning application will be considered by the District Council’s Planning team over the next few weeks. If approved, the work will commence in the early Autumn.

For further information, please call Rebecca Britton on 01480 413141 or e-mail rbritton@urbanandcivic.com

 

Background Information

The £5m grant for Alconbury Campus through the Government’s Building Foundations for Growth Funding was announced in January 2014, subject to due diligence and further detailed plans for the project being agreed between the Enterprise Campus partners. The funding was formally agreed in June 2014. Further information about this grant is available here.