News Archive

Innovation Center to launch Blackburn’s Evolution Park

A 35,000 sq ft Innovation Centre, targeted at new and fledgling enterprises, will form the centrepiece of the £7.5 million first phase of Evolution Park, Blackburn, which St Modwen, the UK¹s leading regeneration specialist, is creating for medical, technology, science and knowledge-based businesses.

The scheme is being undertaken in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

Work has already commenced on the construction of the spine road which will service the 15-acre site, and on the first phase buildings.

The Innovation Centre, which will provide suites of between 225 sq ft and 2,000 sq ft, will be able to house up to 79 businesses and be equipped with the latest broadband technology, meeting room facilities, with break out zones and hot desking potential.

In addition, St Modwen is constructing in the first phase a 17,250 sq ft office building aimed at more established businesses requiring grow-on in suites from 3,000 sq ft . Both buildings will be ready for occupation in August 2008.

The £25 million business park, adjacent to the newly-extended Blackburn Royal Infirmary, close to M65 Junction 5, could create up to 1,000 jobs.

250,000 sq ft of business space will be developed by St Modwen in a rolling programme.

St Modwen is rolling out a series of Innovation Centres as part of its national regeneration programme. Starting with a centre it acquired from the local authority at Cranfield Technology Park and subsequently more than doubled in size and two conversions of existing buildings in Farnborough and Poole.

St Modwen launched its first state-of-the-art purpose-built centre in Longbridge, Birmingham, on the former MG Rover site in May last year.

Steven Knowles of St Modwen, explained: ³The Innovation Centre, which will be directly managed by St Modwen, will provide quality, flexible space for new and fledgling businesses on easy-in, easy-out terms. Business support will be available to ensure our occpiers get a first class service.²

Anthony Glossop, chairman of St Modwen, said: ³The Innovation Centre concept is an example of St Modwen going one step further then an average short-term focused property developer thus underpinning its own long term regeneration credentials.

³We think in a five to 15 year timescale and sometimes even longer and we aim to build long term value by creating the right physical and economic infrastructure. That is why we tend to be loyal to the areas in which we develop because we hope to reap the benefits of the value we have created by earlier schemes.

³We like the East Lancashire area and think it has real potential. We have had good success at our Junction 8 scheme in Accrington and hope this current scheme will be followed by many others.²

For further information contact Steven Knowles (01925 825950). Issued by Paul Raymer of Howle Chapman Raymer (07958 345328).