Urban & Civic reached a key milestone today (Friday 20 September) with an event to attract new businesses to the 150 hectare Alconbury Enterprise Campus.
The event will enable the development team and Enterprise Zone partners to share the vision for the Campus and demonstrate the £10 million of private investment which has begun to transform the former airfield into a high quality Enterprise Campus for R&D, high value manufacturing, office and production space.
The launch event will bring commercial property agents to the site to meet the design team from Urban&Civic and a range of partners and supporters including the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership, local authorities, government agencies and the Chamber of Commerce. It will also give guests the chance to see the Campus in new ways – both from the air with a helicopter tour, and a bus tour which will take in a unique Cold War underground bunker, the only one of its kind in the UK.
The launch will also enable guests to tour the Incubator building designed by award winning architects, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. The 15,000 sq ft building will open in December 2013 and provide signature flexible space for small and medium sized businesses.
Robin Butler, Managing Director of Urban&Civic, said:
“This is a milestone for us and it is appropriate that the events will both acknowledge the site’s past while setting the clear journey we are on to create some much needed space to support growth in manufacturing, commercialisation of UK’s technological development and to bring jobs and business opportunities to the area. With our location on the north-south road and rail spine of the country, and plans for further investment in transport, skills and low carbon technologies, this is a prime position for businesses to come and grow with us.”
Tim Leathes, Project Director for Urban&Civic, added:
“We estimate we have spent about £6m with local contractors to date and are looking forward to reaching our target of delivering 1500 jobs by 2015. Today is about demonstrating the transformation that is under way and the scale of opportunity available for businesses.”
The former airfield, the largest brownfield site in the south of England, was purchased by Urban&Civic in 2009. In 2011, 150 hectares at Alconbury was successfully nominated as an Enterprise Zone by the Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership and Huntingdonshire District Council.
Alconbury Enterprise Campus is one of the largest Enterprise Zones in the country providing 150 hectares of space with business benefits including reduced business rates, streamlined planning and superfast broadband. The Campus is part of the wider 575 hectare Alconbury Weald development which will also bring homes, schools, health services and over 283 hectares of green space including the planting of half a million trees. The development will also see investment in rail and Guided Bus links and the development of miles of cycle and pedestrian networks across the site and linking into the local area.
An outline planning application for Alconbury Weald setting out proposals for 3m sq ft of high quality, low carbon floorspace, creating 8000 jobs, and 5000 new homes along with 700 acres of green open space was submitted to Huntingdonshire District Council in August 2012, with a decision expected by the end of 2013.