Turf cutting ceremony marks start of building of landmark Centrum at Norwich Research Park

22 March 2013

ment from multinational corporate organisations involved in science and technology.

The radical plans, of which Centrum is a major element, could lead to the creation of more than 5,000 jobs in the longer term.

Centrum will be Norwich Research Park’s new hub building, offering high quality interaction space where innovative businesses and academics can meet.

For those companies that take up the laboratory and office accommodation provided across the top two floors of the building, it will provide a unique opportunity to work alongside the best scientific and research minds.

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.

The building is part of substantial BBSRC investment in the Norwich Research Park to deliver innovation from the research base and generate economic growth and job creation.

The investment will help to create and support new companies and jobs based on world-leading bioscience. Developments on the Park include: 
• New Centrum ‘Hub’ Building and commercial research and development space – opening Spring 2014 
• New Enterprise Centre – building due to start in Summer 2013 
• Enhancements to the Innovation Centre 
• Improvements to the car parks, lighting, roads and service infrastructure 
• Investment in IT infrastructure to support high technology demands and academic and commercial engagement 
• Improvements to the highways around the Park 
• The addition of low-cost commercial space

In total 65,000 square metres of new commercial space for research and development will be created.

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.

Steve Visscher, BBSRC Deputy Chief Executive, said: “BBSRC’s investment represents a commitment to growing and developing the UK’s bioscience base to help to create and support new companies and jobs based on world leading bioscience. 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.”

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 focused on crops, food, health, genomics and environmental sciences.”

Gavin Napper, Area Director for Morgan Sindall, said: “We’re delighted to be marking the start of work on this landmark project. The Centrum building is key to the wider development of the Norwich Research Park and we are looking forward to bringing our extensive experience in constructing specialist research facilities to bear on this exciting and ambitious project.”

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Notes to Editors

Visitors to the turf-cutting ceremony commented on the developments and offered their aspirations for the Norwich Research Park over the next twenty five years:

Quote from George Freeman MP: “The Norwich Research Park applies world class expertise in agriculture, nutrition and plant science which if developed properly can define a major role for Britain helping to feed the rapidly emerging global markets of tomorrow.

“By working with our partners in Cambridge, our region can lead a revolution that will build a sustainable, export-led economic recovery and support the fastest growing markets in the developing world. This is a major opportunity we should seize without delay.

“By bringing together the local Councils, universities and innovation hubs between Norwich and Cambridge, we can realise this vision. 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.”

Quote from Richard Bacon MP: “The turf-cutting continues Norwich Research Park’s growth as a hub for advanced science, knowledge and discovery.

“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”.

Quote from Cllr Ann Steward, Cabinet member Economic Development, Norfolk County Council: "The Norwich Research Park is already a major employer in the county and has an international reputation for its excellence.

“The expanding campus will only bring more valuable jobs and major investment to the region."

Quote from Brenda Arthur, Leader, Norwich City Council: “The Research Park is already a centre of excellence and we are both excited by and fully supportive of developments which are helping Norwich realise its ambitions – as set out in our City Deal proposals.

“Any boost to this already world-class facility is a tremendous win for the city in terms of enhancing its reputation and, more importantly, the positive impact it has on our local jobs market.”

Quote from Andy Wood, Chair New Anglia LEP: "This represents a next exciting step in the development of the Norwich Research Park. The Park is already a place that on our very doorstep is contributing world class science aimed at solving some of the world's greatest challenges.

“Over the next few years we are likely to see more employment opportunities created and Norwich enhancing its reputation as a desirable place for science and technology businesses to locate".

Quote from John Fuller, Leader, South Norfolk Council: "The challenge was to get cranes on site to expand the 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."

Norwich Research Park investment 
In 2011, the Government awarded BBSRC £26M to invest in Norwich Research Park to deliver innovation from the research base and generate economic growth and job creation. The investment will help to create and support new companies and jobs based on world-leading bioscience.

About Norwich Research Park 
The Norwich Research Park is a partnership between the University of East Anglia, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, four independent world-renowned research institutes namely the John Innes Centre, Institute of Food Research and The Genome Analysis Centre (all strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)) and The Sainsbury Laboratory linked to the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. The BBSRC is itself a partner as is the John Innes Foundation.

The vision of the Norwich Research Park partners and local government stakeholders is to develop a thriving science and innovation business park over the next decade by supporting spin-out and start-up companies and through attracting inward investment from large corporate organisations involved in science and technology.

The Norwich Research Park is home to around 30 science and IT based businesses. With over 11,000 people including 2,700 scientists, the Norwich Research Park is Europe’s leading centre for research in food, health and the environment.

The Norwich Research Park partner websites are:
• University of East Anglia www.uea.ac.uk 
• Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital www.nnuh.nhs.uk 
• John Innes Centre www.jic.ac.uk 
• Institute of Food Research www.ifr.ac.uk 
• The Genome Analysis Centre www.tgac.ac.uk 
• The Sainsbury Laboratory www.tsl.ac.uk 
• Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Centre www.bbsrc.ac.uk 
• John Innes Foundation www.johninnesfoundation.org.uk

About Norwich Research Park (NRP) Enterprise Centre 
Designed by Architype and due to be delivered by Morgan Sindall, the Norwich Research Park (NRP) Enterprise Centre, is targeting BREEAM Outstanding and Passivhaus Certification, meaning it will be incredibly environmentally friendly, need very little energy to heat and cool and act as a carbon sink.

The project was awarded £6.2m from the European Regional Development Fund in October 2011. As a condition of this funding, the Centre for the Built Environment will provide free business support delivered through a series of CPD accredited seminars, webinars and workshops showcasing the design, build and post-occupancy of the project.

The project is being part-funded by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), in addition to funding from UEA, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Norwich Research Park and BRE (Building Research Establishment).  www.adaptcbe.co.uk

For more media information please contact Donna Chessum or Ellen Cave at Tribe on 01603 417722 or email donna@tribepr.com or ellen@tribepr.com