Enterprise hub foundations laid at Colworth Science Park

Construction work is underway on The Exchange, a new enterprise hub at Colworth Science Park that is being developed by Unilever and Goodman.

To mark the occasion, property group Goodman was joined by representatives from funding partners Unilever and the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), as well as leading figures from IFR Extra, Cranfield School of Management and Cambridge University’s Institute for Manufacturing, at a ground breaking ceremony on the campus.

The Exchange, which was designed by architects RMJM, will provide 21,000 sq ft of dining, conference and meeting space and a 35,000 sq ft Innovation Centre in Colworth Science Park. It will provide modern flexible laboratory and office suites, a café-restaurant, and modern meeting and conference facilities for up to 200 people. These facilities will be open to off-site businesses, as well as those on the campus.

The development will bring together academia, small and medium enterprises and other life science companies to drive technology transfer. This has been made possible after the investment of £13.7 million from the Goodman–Unilever joint venture and EEDA.

EEDA has supported the development of The Exchange, including the Innovation Centre, with £4.4 million of funding. EEDA’s support will enable IFR Extra, Cranfield University and the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Manufacturing to establish a presence at Colworth Science Park. The groups will be based alongside one of Unilever’s global research centres and more than 17 small and medium enterprises in a variety of fields.

Goodman and Unilever hope the Innovation Centre will help address a shortage of scientific lab space in the area with an ‘easy in/easy out’ leasing policy.

Colworth Science Park is situated between Cambridge and Oxford in the village of Sharnbrook, near Bedford. It sits in 1200 acres of natural parkland.

Occupiers have access to a wide range of specialist scientific services and facilities. In addition, Colworth Science Park has a wealth of leisure and sports facilities on site, including tennis and squash courts, football and cricket pitches and a nine-hole golf course.

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