Technology, cyber security and IT companies are set to benefit from an additional £4 million investment into Malvern Hills Science Park, if planning permission is granted for further development of the site.
Following public consultations sessions held in October and November, a planning application has been submitted to Worcestershire County Council to proceed with Phase 5 of the Science Park. This next phase is to be funded in full with £4m from the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership through the Worcestershire Growth Deal. It includes demolition of an existing building, to be replaced with a new two storey building.
The new building will provide around 1,500sqm of space that can be used by new tenants or as flexible grow-on space for established tenants. It will be energy-efficient, resulting in lower operating costs for businesses, and also improve the attractiveness of the Science Park. Phase 5 will develop half of the cleared site, leaving the other half to be developed at a later date as Phase 6.
Malvern Hills Science Park has already been hugely successful in developing over its first four phases. Phase 4 is due to be completed shortly and will see current tenants UTC Aerospace Systems move into a new 30,000sqft high tech office and production facility in early January 2016. Worcestershire County Council has invested £3.5m into Phase 4, alongside £370,000 from Malvern Hills District Council.
The Science Park has been identified as one of the key economic ‘game-changer’ sites in the County and has a significant role in creating a strong future economy. It is already home to the National Cyber Security Centre and a significant cluster of IT and cyber security companies.
Cllr Simon Geraghty, Worcestershire County Council Cabinet Member for Economy, Skills & Infrastructure, said: “If planning permission is granted, the project will provide a unique opportunity to replace an unattractive and under-used building with new, vibrant buildings that provide more flexible business space.
“Historically Malvern has been a hub for invention, innovation and the development of new technology. This continues today with the growth of high tech and cyber security firms on the Science Park. The expansion of the site provides a real strategic opportunity to drive forward technology, innovation and enterprise in the County, while also supporting business growth and providing local employment opportunities.”
Gary Woodman, Executive Director for the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Expanding Malvern Hills Science Park will enable existing businesses to grow as well as encourage businesses from the technology, cyber security and IT sectors to join Malvern’s significant cyber cluster and bring more jobs in this high-priority growth sector.
“This is a significant employment site in the County and so was prioritised for funding through the Worcestershire Growth Deal. It would be great news if planning consent is granted.”
Alan White, Chief Executive of Malvern Hills Science Park, added: “Phase 5 will kick off significant planned expansion of the Science Park, providing premises for more established companies to complement our community of start-up and early stage technology businesses. Some of these, like UTC Aerospace Systems, will be existing successful Science Park companies, whilst others will be attracted on a global basis to what we see as a world class location.”
A decision on the planning application is expected in early 2016, with an anticipated construction period of 9 months if approval is granted.