NWDA rubber-stamps science park funding

Construction will begin in January 2010 on a 36,000 sq ft 'grow-on' laboratory building at Daresbury in Cheshire.

The North West Development Agency stepped in to rescue the scheme after the original developer, St Modwen, said it would not be able to fulfil a development contract it won in 2008 due to the financial constraints brought about by the recession. St Modwen was due to deliver the building, to be named Vanguard House, as the first phase of a £25m contract to construct 200,000 sq ft.

The NWDA said it was 'well into the process' of identifying a replacement private sector joint venture partner for a new contract to develop up to 1m sq ft of space for business, research and innovation.

The joint venture is designed to provide facilities management and other services to the campus and realise commercial services and investment opportunities with occupiers.

The commercial partner is expected to be selected early in 2010 with the joint venture company in place in second quarter of 2010.

The new development will be adjacent to the existing Daresbury Innovation Centre, the Cockcroft Institute (the National Centre for Accelerator Science) and the STFC Daresbury Laboratory.

The funding for the new building will take the NWDA investment on the Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus to over £67m.

Daresbury is a collaboration with Science & Technology Facilities Council, Halton Borough Council and the Universities of Liverpool, Manchester and Lancaster.

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