Mustard video: Work starts on new Centrum building at Norwich Research Park
17:32 22 March 2013
Work started on a new £11.5m building which will be at the heart of commercial research and development at Norwich Research Park.
A turf-cutting ceremony and the burial of a time capsule marked the beginning of construction of the new Centrum building which follows a £26m investment from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and will open next Spring.
Built by Morgan Sindall the new building forms part of a long-term drive to create 5,000 new jobs at the NRP and the aim is to create an area where businesses and academics can meet and turn bright ideas into successful ventures.
In a departure from tradition, the time capsule contained documents and objects provided by the guests that capture their aspirations for the NRP over the next 25 years.
With a business centre, meeting rooms, a restaurant and café, Centrum will provide the necessary commercial space for larger businesses in the appropriate sectors looking to locate onto the Park.
Development will also include a new enterprise centre, IT and road improvements around the park and the addition of low cost commercial space.
In total 65,000 square metres of new commercial space for research and development will be created.
South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon, said: “The Centrum building will put Norwich Research Park another step closer to its future as the northern end of a corridor of scientific and technological excellence stretching along the A11/A14 to Cambridge. This vision is ambitious but, crucially, it is achievable”.
Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman, said: “I hope and believe that by 2050 the Norwich Research Park will be globally recognised as a leader in the science of sustainability: producing more from less and the appliance of life science across the ‘big 3’ sectors of food, medicine and energy.”
The Norwich Research Park North development area includes the John Innes Centre site (also encompassing research institutes The Sainsbury Laboratory and The Genome Analysis Centre), Institute of Food Research site and the University of East Anglia triangle site.
Alan Giles, Project Director, Norwich Research Park said: “We are determined that by 2030 Norwich Research Park will be a pre-eminent international research and innovation Park focussed on crops, food, health, genomics and environmental sciences.”
Steve Visscher, BBSRC Deputy Chief Executive, said: “The Centrum building will help ensure that Norwich Research Park has the infrastructure and capability to position itself as a world leader in agri-food, health and environmental sciences.”
John Fuller, leader of South Norfolk Council, said: “The challenge was to get cranes on site to expand the Norwich Research Park and create high-quality jobs for Norfolk. This marks a milestone in our economic recovery and builds literal foundations for the future prosperity of the region as a whole.”