Funding approved and work starts on £17.8m Sci-Tech Daresbury development

Sci-Tech Daresbury

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, has announced an £8.4m investment in Project Violet, the next stage of development at Sci-Tech Daresbury, which will create, or support, 332 full-time equivalent jobs.

A £2.5m loan from the Urban Development Fund, together with £5.9m from the combined authority’s Chrysalis Fund, provides cornerstone funding for Project Violet at the world-class location for hi-tech business and leading edge science.

Lead contractor Willmott Dixon has officially begun work on the £17.8m Project Violet development, which will comprise 42,000 sq ft of speculative Grade A office and innovation space, coupled with the highest energy efficiency standards, for dynamic, forward-thinking science and technology focused businesses.

The project will encompass two buildings (V2 and V3) providing 12,000 sq ft each and one building (V1) of 18,000 sq ft.

Each building will provide floor plates of around 4,100 to 6,150 sq ft and as part of the work there will be major landscaping improvements around the Sci-Tech Daresbury campus.

The progression of the Project Violet development underlines the Sci-Tech Daresbury joint venture’s commitment to the future prosperity of the Liverpool City Region and wider North West through meeting the market demand for high-quality workspace for high growth science, technology and innovation-led businesses that are attracted to the area’s unrivalled ecosystem of private and public sector business support, academia and transport connectivity.

The project is set to complete by the end of 2021.

Steve Rotheram said: “Our region is very lucky to have Sci-Tech Daresbury, home to some world-leading businesses and research organisations who are doing some incredible work in the fields of science, technology and industries of the future.

“We’ve invested £8.4m to help the site continue to grow and succeed, and to ensure that we’re able to offer the world-class facilities to keep attracting new businesses and jobs to the area. This project, alone, is expected to create hundreds of local jobs.

“Retaining as many businesses, jobs and investment as possible, while attracting more, will be really important in helping our region recover from the economic effects of this pandemic, but we’re already making a start.”

John Downes, chief executive of site owner Langtree and chairman of Sci-Tech Daresbury, said: “The groundbreaking ceremony and funding confirmation mark two important milestones for not just Project Violet, but also the development of the wider campus.

“These new buildings are a pivotal addition to the site, and will allow us to provide a home for more innovative businesses of all different sizes, from dynamic start-ups to established global firms.

“We’re currently seeing strong demand for workspace from businesses developing products and services that will help the economy forward in years to come, and we’re, therefore, proud to continue to develop our site to cater to this requirement.

“We’re very appreciative of the Mayor and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority for their support in helping us take the project forward.

“Willmott Dixon is undertaking its work in a conscientious and meticulous manner – both in terms of the stringent safety precautions on site and its approach to social value.

“We look forward to working closely with the team during the construction process on initiatives that will have a real benefit for local people in terms of skills and employment.”

Anthony Dillon, managing director for Willmott Dixon in the North, said: “We are proud to be under way on this exciting project, one that will be a catalyst for growth and a hive of excitement for so many innovative businesses of all sizes.

“We believe in delivering brilliant buildings, transforming lives, strengthening communities and enhancing the environment so our world is fit for future generations.

“Project Violet is a project that supports every one of those goals and we are committed to investing with local chain partners wherever possible as well creating new local employment opportunities.”

Paul Vernon, head of STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory, said: “Science and technology are proven drivers of essential growth, creating jobs and opportunities for collaboration and attracting investment. The Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Daresbury Laboratory, one of only two National Laboratories and part of UK Research and Innovation, has a pivotal role to play in this, both regionally and nationally.

“The hugely exciting Project Violet, combined with flexible access to UKRI’s globally significant facilities and expertise available here to businesses, will continue to make Sci-Tech Daresbury unique, attractive and relevant for the challenges the country is facing.

“Through this next exciting milestone in its development, Sci-Tech Daresbury will continue to champion technology and innovation, while supporting the growing demand from businesses from across the North West and beyond.”

Cllr Ron Hignett, Halton Borough Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, said: “It’s great to see work on this project get under way – it is a major milestone in the continuous development of Sci-Tech Daresbury.

“Project Violet will provide new accommodation to meet the growing demand from businesses, a place where they will receive the support they need to thrive and grow.”

The development is funded using the Enterprise Zone retained business rates and investment from the Sci-Tech Daresbury joint-venture.

Funding provided by the LCR Urban Development Fund is backed by the 2014-2020 ERDF England Operational Programme and it is a new funding route to foster smart, sustainable and inclusive growth for the Liverpool City Region.

Chrysalis is supported by the 2007-2013 European Regional Development Fund for the North West under the Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas (“JESSICA”) programme.

Designed by Seven Architecture, the new complex is situated at the gateway of the campus next to Keckwick Lane and Innovation Way.

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