A NEW £9.9 million innovation centre is starting to take shape at Porton Science Park.

The Collaborative Innovation Centre is made up of 83 pre-fabricated modular units with fitted windows and plasterboarded walls and ceilings.

The final three units were delivered and lifted into position yesterday (Thursday February 10) to complete the two storey 3,600 sqm building.

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The centre will provide new office, laboratory and bespoke facilities to companies.

Wiltshire Council leader, Cllr Richard Clewer said: “Following the tremendous success of the first phase which comprised the £10.1 million Beech-Allen Building which was opened in early 2018 and is now fully occupied, we are delighted to see the second phase building coming to life.

"We already have substantial interest in this building, and we are looking forward to the new tenants moving in when the building opens later this year.

“The significant investment from Wiltshire Council and our partners has been critical to the site’s expansion which has reaffirmed Porton Science Park as a Life Science Opportunity Zone and a centre of excellence in specialist health, life science and defence and security sectors.”

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The council is delivering the building as fitted out space to provide laboratory, office and meeting space to smaller businesses and visiting researchers, academics and entrepreneurs.

The "Grow On" space is being delivered as a shell, which the council offers to fit out to meet individual tenant’s bespoke needs subject to a lease agreement.

The aspiration is for the Collaborative Innovation Centre to be net zero carbon post completion, supporting the council’s aim to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Paddy Bradley, the CEO of Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “We are delighted to see the development of phase two of Porton Science Park.

"The £2 million investment from the government’s Getting Building Fund we helped secure allows us to specifically target enhancing job opportunities, skills and infrastructure for the area. We know that this project will help attract more investment in our communities and will draw in new high-skilled and well paid jobs to boost our recovery.”

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3D model of the centre 

Over the last three weeks, at least six modules have been delivered to site each working day on the back of specially adapted trailers designed for carrying abnormal loads and lifted into position using a very large mobile crane.

The modules have been produced at McAvoy’s state-of-the-art facility in Northern Ireland.

McAvoy’s contracts director, Martin O’Neill, said the company was proud to be associated with such a "groundbreaking" project.

“This is a truly excellent scheme that is well suited to the deployment of our offsite precision manufacturing approach. With most of the structure manufactured in our dedicated state-of-the-art facility, the timeframe to get us to this point has been dramatically reduced," he said.

"This will ultimately allow us to get the new Innovation Centre open and operational as quickly as possible. Our focus is now with our onsite team who will now carry out final ground works and fit-out in advance of official handover later in the year.”

The Collaborative Innovation Centre is scheduled to open later in 2022.


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