Thomas Vale wins race for £35m science park

Grant Prior 12 years ago

Thomas Vale has been chosen to develop the latest £35m phase of Birmingham Science Park.

Birmingham City Council chose the winner from a shortlist of Bruntwood, Thomas Vale Construction, and a Trebor Developments/Hortons Estate consortium after 80 organisations has originally expressed an interest in the project.

The latest building at the park for hi-tech companies will be known as iCentrumTM.

It will be built speculatively and become the first purely speculative office development in Birmingham for four years.

The first building has an estimated construction cost of £7.5m and will take 12 months to build.

The Science Park’s flagship Faraday Wharf building, which was completed in 2001, will be upgraded and linked to iCentrumTM via a first floor bridge.

A detailed planning application for the 30,000 sq ft iCentrumTM building, together with an outline application for the rest of the 120,000 sq ft Digital Plaza development will be submitted later this summer.

Subject to planning approval, work will start on site before the end of this year.

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council said: “Investment into Birmingham Science Park is one of the City Council’s key objectives. It is critical that we support entrepreneurial talent, diversify our economy and create new high value jobs.

“Now 30 years old, the Park’s reputation for success is growing on an international stage, and the Digital Plaza development will ensure the innovation spotlight is shone on this city.”

Dr David Hardman MBE, CEO of Birmingham Science Park said: “As the economy continues the slow climb out of recession, it is tremendous news that Thomas Vale Construction’s proposals will enable us to deliver the first Digital Plaza building speculatively, while also linking with – and investing into an upgrade of – our flagship Faraday Wharf building.

The Digital Plaza will be financed through a Special Purpose Vehicle, which will secure the funding for the first building.

Subsequent buildings are likely to be built-out on a pre-let basis, unless improved market conditions – or the level of success from the iCentrumTM building – allows for further speculative development.

Tony Hyde, Managing Director of Thomas Vale Construction said: “Having such deep roots with Birmingham, we are proud and excited to have been selected to deliver this partnership project.

“Teamwork, ethical delivery, innovative design, local job creation and modern methods of construction will be the key principals of the development of the Digital Plaza, which will quickly become a symbol of Birmingham’s ambitions as an entrepreneurial city.

“It will bring together agile and smart working environments with the business incubator culture that is already being developed at Birmingham Science Park.”

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