Plans for a third building at Liverpool Science Park in the city centre have been given the go ahead.
Liverpool City Council gave planning permission on Tuesday for a new four storey Innovation Centre 3 building, or ic3 for short, totalling 42,000 sq ft, to be built on a 1.35 acre site over the existing car park of ic1, off Mount Pleasant, to the south west of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral.
The building will include 36 under-croft car parking spaces, 30 cycle spaces and newly landscaped areas.
A double-storey bridge will link ic3 to the existing ic1 building, with visitors being directed to ic3 through the current main entrance of ic1.
The building will feature office space, laboratories over three floors, meeting rooms and a ground floor café accessible to the public.
A public and private funding package is now being assembled to deliver the facility, which is anticipated to be in place by March 2011.
Chris Musson, chief executive of Liverpool Science Park, said: "The third building is the next piece in the evolving jigsaw of Liverpool Science Park's unique offering. Receiving detailed planning permission is a key step along the way to realising this third building. These commercial laboratories will enable us to nurture and support the full range of organisations that make up Liverpool's growing knowledge economy and will complement both MerseyBio's existing offer and our planned floor of laboratories in our second building, which we hope to open in the spring. They will be a tremendous asset to the city, further helping to harness talent and create a pipeline of high value jobs. We want Liverpool to be the first choice for science-based organisations."
Gareth Callen, lead architect from Liverpool-based Ryder Architecture, added: "The mass of the building has been carefully designed and articulated to respond to the visual impact from the Metropolitan Cathedral and open parkland to the north whilst providing a strong and appealing frontage along Great Orford Street."
Developer Liverpool Science Park Company is a joint venture between Liverpool City Council, Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool, which was set up as a special purpose vehicle to support and drive forward Liverpool's commercial knowledge economy.
Liverpool Science Park said the life sciences sector is already a major contributor to city's economy, employing over 4,000 people and generating turnover of around £250m a year.
The ic3 building is expected to open by autumn 2012.