Willmott Dixon has been appointed by Darlington Borough Council to deliver the £8m Innovation Central in Darlington
Located in Central Park, Innovation Central will provide office space and laboratories and will support economic growth and job creation.
Procured via the SCAPE framework, the project will see the delivery of a 2,370 sq m 4-storey office and laboratory development.
Designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating, the building’s layout will also contain 400 sq m of NET lettable laboratory space for use by resident businesses.
Innovation Central is being made possible using £4.7m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), £2.8m from the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority, £480,000 from the Government’s Getting Building fund, as well as £60,000 council funding.
‘Modern and flexible workspace’
Council leader Heather Scott, said: “We have begun the exciting work of creating a modern and flexible workplace which will help businesses collaborate, innovate and grow.
“Our investment into this centre will increase opportunities for local businesses, create quality jobs and generate the momentum needed to help the local economy bounce back from the impacts of this pandemic.
“It is a chance for Darlington to focus on entrepreneurship and business growth, and the centre is a fantastic opportunity for new and existing businesses looking for the combination of lab and office space which will sit well alongside the existing CPI Biologics and Teesside University Horizons buildings.”
Tees Valley mayor, Ben Houchen, commented: “I’m delighted that spades are now in the ground to make this new facility a reality, adding even more value to Central Park and Darlington, a town increasingly hitting the headlines.
“CPI, Teesside University and its National Horizons Centre are already delivering world-leading research and innovation, helping us punch above our weight in the biosciences sector and make our mark locally, nationally and internationally.
“This new space will deliver even more scope for growth in that sector, and many more, in turn creating more good-quality, well-paid jobs for local people which – as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic – is more important than ever.”
Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the North, added: “We are delighted to build upon our long-standing relationships in the Tees Valley to deliver the Innovation Central building for Darlington Borough Council.
“Once complete, the building will be at the forefront of technological advancement in the area, helping to create new jobs and boost the local economy, we are proud to play our part in making this possible.”
Due for completion in August 2022, Innovation Central will be operated by North East Business & Innovation Centre (BIC).