The plans have been given the go ahead by Huntingdonshire District Council - the application was processed in just 37 days as part of the Council’s commitment to delivering a streamlined planning process within the Enterprise Zone.
Known as The Incubator, the building will provide 15,000 sq ft of flexible space for small and start up businesses who want to be part of the new development at Alconbury Weald. It includes space for networking and business support, as well as the benefits of business rate reduction and superfast broadband which come with being in the Enterprise Zone.
Tim Leathes, Project Director for developer and site owner Urban&Civic , said: “The Incubator will be the first new building in the Enterprise Campus and sets the bar for the design standards, inspiring space and sustainability features we will bring across the development. Designed by internationally renowned architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris the design focus has been flexibility because we want to accommodate the type of start-up business with say 5 or 6 people, carrying out research and development, prototyping or hi-tec design.
“Great design is always about delivering strong functionality with quality and style. Set close to the leafy entrance of the Campus, and using natural materials, the Incubator will also provide space for meetings and networking to support the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of the local economy. It’s great that HDC were able to turn around the application in just over 5 weeks. Now we can get to work in making the plans come to life.”
Mark Reeve, Acting Chair of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “The Enterprise Partnership has championed the Enterprise Zone at Alconbury Weald from the start, so we are delighted that this first important building has taken a step closer to becoming a reality. Its central location between Cambridge and Peterborough, on the spine of the country with road and rail links in all directions, makes it perfectly placed to support the economic development of not just Huntingdon, but the whole of the LEP area.
New tenants coming to the site will benefit from the Enterprise Zone’s business rate discount worth up to £275,000 over five years, superfast broadband and a streamlined planning process. They will be able to take advantage of flexible leases, business advice and support services. The building has also been designed with a range of sustainable features to reflect the low carbon aspirations for the whole development and is due for completion by December 2013.