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Planning Permission granted for major new facility for hi-tech firms on Daresbury Science & Innovation Campus

Halton Borough Council has granted planning permission for a major new facility for hi-tech businesses and leading-edge science on the Daresbury Science & Innovation Campus, the first step in the crucial next stage of the development of the Campus. Construction of the new building, to be called Vanguard House, is expected to begin in September 2008, with the building ready for occupation in September 2009.

Vanguard House will provide 35,000 sq. ft. of office and laboratory space in units of between 1,000 sq ft (93 sq m) and 7,700 sq ft (715 sq m). It will complement the hugely successful Daresbury Innovation Centre and provide a home for companies already on the Campus to grow into as well as attracting established scientific and hi-tech companies from across the country.

The agreement to build Vanguard House was announced at the beginning of April by the Minister for Science & Innovation, Ian Pearson, as part of a £25 million deal between The Northwest Regional Development Agency, Daresbury Science & Innovation Campus and St Modwen, widely regarded as the UK’s leading regeneration specialist. Directly managed by St Modwen, it will offer reception, meeting and conference facilities for all companies on the Campus and a hi-tech IT service to its occupiers.

The new development adjoins the existing Daresbury Innovation Centre and the Cockcroft Institute (the National Centre for Accelerator Science), with the larger investment creating the potential for up to 200,000 sq ft (18.500 sq m) of new accommodation and up to 1,200 jobs. St Modwen plan a rolling programme of development of high quality buildings provided speculatively or to meet occupiers’ bespoke requirements.

At a recent launch event for the facility, stunning architects’ visuals of the new building were unveiled. The event was a chance for more than 60 prospective tenants, partners and agents to see for themselves what this leading-edge facility will offer.

John Leake, General Manager of Daresbury SIC comments: ‘The first step in the ambitious masterplan for the Campus is Vanguard House and receiving planning permission is a very exciting development. This will be a fantastic facility for hi-tech businesses, but the attraction is not just about the bricks and mortar, companies will be able to draw on the unique combination of business support and world class scientific expertise that has become the Daresbury SIC trademark’. Mr Leake has also announced that the Daresbury site is to become one of six regional Media Enterprise Centres, alongside the likes of Media City and Liverpool, which will see it benefiting from the very latest broadband connectivity for businesses in the digital and creative sector.

Professor Colin Whitehouse, Director of Campus Strategy for the Science & Technology Facilities Council, which runs Daresbury Laboratory on the Campus, said, ‘Vanguard House signals a very important and exciting next phase of growth for the Campus. It indicates very clearly that the Daresbury SIC model of giving business the opportunity to benefit from the close proximity of the international-class science, technology and computing expertise of Daresbury Laboratory is proving to be very successful.’

Also at the launch event, the architects, Stephen George & Partners presented the computer-generated images of the building and were joined by representatives from St Modwen who outlined the facilities available to companies looking to take up residence.

Steven Knowles, Senior Development Manager at St Modwen, adds: ‘Vanguard House signals our intent to provide high quality accommodation to internationally competitive businesses. We are delighted to have planning permission for this new development.’

Among those present at the launch was the Leader of Halton Borough Council, Cllr Tony McDermott, who added: ‘It was an excellent event, and Vanguard House is an impressive development which is another great step forward for the Daresbury facility and demonstrates just what a special place Daresbury is.’

For further information please contact:

Mark Blackburn

Marketing Manager

Daresbury Science & Innovation Campus

Keckwick Lane, Daresbury, Cheshire, WA4 4FS

Tel +44 (0)1925 607012

Fax +44 (0)1925 607398

Mob +44 (0)7947 315757

Email mark.blackburn_dsic@nwda.co.uk

Web www.daresburysic.co.uk

Notes to editors:

Daresbury Science & Innovation Campus (Daresbury SIC) is an internationally recognised location for hi-tech businesses and leading-edge science. It represents a fundamentally new approach to driving UK competitiveness in global science and innovation. Daresbury SIC was formed by the Northwest Regional Development Agency and the Science & Technology Facilities Council along with the Universities of Liverpool, Lancaster and Manchester and Halton Borough Council.

St. Modwen is regarded as the UK’s leading regeneration specialist operating through a network of regional offices in all sectors of the property industry. St Modwen works in partnership with private and public sector organisations, and fosters the growth of new and expanding businesses by providing accommodation and services to support their business needs.

The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) leads the economic development and regeneration of England’s Northwest and is responsible for:

• Supporting business growth and encouraging investment

• Matching skills provision to employer needs

• Creating the conditions for economic growth

• Connecting the region through effective transport and communication infrastructure

• Promoting the region’s outstanding quality of life