Last night – Wednesday 11th June, 2014 – St Edmundsbury Borough Council granted planning consent for The Epicentre, the £5 million innovation centre at Haverhill Research Park, Haverhill, giving the scheme a tremendous boost.
The 30,000 sq ft, four-storey innovation centre, will create a landmark development adjacent to the lake in the centre of the park and will provide facilities for start-up and growing businesses. The Epicentre is expected to be completed by September 2015 and could create up to 300 jobs.
Financing for The Epicentre is expected to be provided by the New Anglia and the Greater Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), both of whom have already funded the recently completed infra-structure for the park.
The development will comprise high specification offices and dry R&D accommodation in a range of sizes, from 170 sq ft to 7,000 sq ft, together with conference and meeting rooms, training facilities and a 'work-hub' area for shared working. There will also be a cafe overlooking the lake which will create a focal point for the innovation centre as well as other businesses located on the 450,000 sq ft park.
The Epicentre will offer early-stage companies tailored support services designed to boost the growth of their businesses ranging from cost-effective, flexible, managed space to business advice, integrated telecoms, broadband internet access and networking facilities.
The Epicentre has already launched a 'virtual innovation centre' service with incentives for businesses to sign up including the use of the innovation centre address, a domain name, post handling and conference/meeting space at a reduced rate at the nearby Day's Inn Hotel, where free Wi-Fi is also available to virtual office tenants.
The new address will be The Epicentre, Haverhill Research Park, Three Counties Way, Haverhill, Suffolk, CB9 7FB.
The Epicentre will aim to stimulate innovation, product and process development and technology transfer, which will enhance growth, creativity, customer satisfaction both nationally and internationally for all its clients. The innovation centre will become a 'business incubator' offering experience, contacts, resources, and a presence in the local community.
The design of the building which has been created by architects Frank Shaw Associates will 'set the standard' for future building on the park providing exciting and contemporary architecture, with a double height glazed reception and a striking brise soleil canopy over the entrance.
The building will be clad with a mix of brick and two types of rainscreen cladding and there will be high quality landscaping with an avenue of pear trees on the north side of the building.
The sustainable elements of the design comprise photovoltaic panels on the roof to provide a source of renewable energy for the centre together with bicycle racks and showers and changing rooms for those wishing to cycle to work.
Agents for the £100m park are Cheffins and Carter Jonas.