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JACK STRAW MP LAUNCHES ST MODWEN’S LANDMARK INNOVATION CENTRE, BLACKBURN

St Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, today launched its landmark Innovation Centre at Evolution Park, Blackburn, with an official opening ceremony, hosted by Jack Straw, MP for Blackburn.

Developed in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, the 44,000 sq ft Centre is targeted at start-up and growing enterprises within the medical, knowledge, science and technology sectors. The Innovation Centre provides an environment where businesses can share their expertise with one another and in turn, receive support to encourage their ongoing business growth and development based on flexible occupational arrangements which encompass all the user’s support service needs.

Situated adjacent to Royal Blackburn Hospital, the Innovation Centre forms part of the first phase of development at St Modwen’s £25 million, 223,000 sq ft Evolution Park which will comprise a mixture of speculative and bespoke buildings to house up to 1,000 jobs and meet the requirements of Blackburn’s business community. The Innovation Centre provides office suites that range in size from 90 sq ft up to 2,000 sq ft and is equipped with the latest broadband technology, meeting room and conferencing facilities.

Next to the Centre, St. Modwen has also developed a “grow on facility” of 22,500 sq ft. This has been built so that, over time, businesses within the Innovation Centre as well as third parties can expand into these larger facilities without having to sacrifice the convenience of the location or the pro-active working environment that St. Modwen will have created.

Jack Straw, MP for Blackburn says:

“Located within an area that qualifies for grants to help the expansion and growth of existing and start-up businesses, the Innovation Centre underlines Blackburn’s commitment to promote and encourage innovative and enterprising talent and in turn, trigger more job opportunities and business growth within the region.”

Anthony Glossop, chairman for St Modwen adds:

“The combined efforts of everybody involved – both public sector bodies and the private sector – have resulted in the creation of an innovative facility that will house the employers of the future.

“The Innovation Centre concept is one example of how St Modwen has a long lasting commitment to the areas in which we build. With each of our developments, we seek to leave a legacy by delivering the right physical and economic infrastructure, providing an environment within which businesses and communities can evolve and develop.”

Councillor Alan Cottam, Executive Member for Regeneration and Environment, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, comments:

“Evolution Park is the next phase in the release of land within Blackburn with Darwen to help to improve the local economy. The success of the Blackburn Technology Park at Greenbank, where hundreds of high technology jobs have been created, was a great start and gave us the confidence to work with St Modwen on this project.

“The specialism of Evolution Park around the Medical and Knowledge based industries will help to add value to the local economy. Working with the Health Tech Hub, we want to encourage employment growth in the medical manufacturing sector and medical support industries. The location next to the Royal Blackburn Hospital is ideal in this respect. The Council will also be working with St Modwen to bring tenants to the Centre and advising on any business support assistance that is available. It is in a prime location and we are also looking to invest in public transport in the area as it grows and grows. A new bus route along Haslingden Road and Shadsworth Road has been proposed as part of Pennine Reach scheme which will help people access services and employment.”

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Notes to Editors

Innovation Centre

The Innovation Centre at Blackburn is strategically located within Evolution Park, St. Modwen’s 14 acre Business and Industrial Park situated, within easy reach of Jct 5 of the M65 motorway.

Developed in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, the Innovation Centre provides over 44,000 sq ft of office accommodation and offers a dynamic and new business environment to serve Blackburn and the surrounding area.

It provides start-up and growing enterprises with a range of tailored office space solutions that range in size from 90 sq ft up to 2,000 sq ft. The Centre also provides a high quality, modern conference and meeting venue, complete with the latest contemporary facilities and level of service to match.

St. Modwen is rolling out a series of Innovation Centres as part of its national regeneration programme and recently opened the second of these in Longbridge, Birmingham, on the former MG Rover site.

St. Modwen Properties plc

St. Modwen is the UK’s leading regeneration specialist operating across the full spectrum of the property industry, through a network of seven regional offices and a Birmingham-based head office. The company is wholly focussed upon regeneration with expertise in partnering industry, brownfield land renewal, town centre regeneration and heritage restoration.

For further information, please contact:

Charlotte McCarthy

PR Manager

St. Modwen Properties PLC

T: 07970 949 914

E: cmccarthy@stmodwen.co.uk

Richard Bakes

Development Manager

St. Modwen Properties PLC

T: 01925 825 950

E: rbakes@stmodwen.co.uk