New £10m HQ will support nearly 200 staff in major relocation

Design for new GVS Filters HQ

Planning permission for a new £10m HQ building to house almost 200 staff have been approved.

GVS Filter Technology was founded in 1979 in Bologna, Italy, and has evolved from a supplier of components for the healthcare sector to a global group that produces highly technical filtration solutions for many sectors.

As an established manufacturer of medical products and personal protective equipment, including facemasks, during the COVID-19 pandemic, GVS played a major role in the manufacture and provision of protective face masks to the NHS.

Its current UK office, in Morecambe, opened in 1995 and employs more than 190 people. All staff will be relocated to the new site in Lancaster.

North West architectural, planning and building surveying practice, Cassidy + Ashton, secured planning permission for the development which will take place on a vacant site on Caton Road, formerly used by paper producer Sofidel.

The acquired site boasts a prominent riverside frontage where GVS aims to create an eye-catching complex to promote its global brand and reflect its Italian roots.

GVS also has ambitions to be carbon neutral at the new location with the development to include the use of renewable energy, sustainable water drainage and heat transfer management systems.

Cassidy + Ashton’s proposals for the scheme include refurbishing an existing 2,000 sq m storage warehouse to act as GVS’s production facilities, including its injection moulding processes and high-tech filter manufacturing which is carried out under ‘clean room’ standards. The remainder of the space will be occupied with warehousing and storage.

The finishing touch to the complex is a striking two-storey building that will serve as reception and office and administration area with its frontage on Caton Road, a gateway to Lancaster’s city centre.

Alistair Baines, Cassidy + Ashton chairman, said: “We’re committed to working with our client partners to design and create buildings that contribute to a more sustainable world. Our plans for GVS’s new commercial facility reflect a conscious decision by the company to ensure they are taking the right measures towards being carbon neutral.”

Focusing on the use of renewable energy, the proposed design includes installing solar panels on the roof of the warehouse and operations facilities, while heat pumps will transfer heat created during production processes to warm the office areas.

The new headquarters also includes a sustainable drainage system with surface water redirected via grassed swales integrated into the car park, to a landscaped wildlife pond, before the water is released into the River Lune.

Alistair added: “In relocating their UK operations, GVS seeks to make a real mark in Lancaster on a prominent site alongside the River Lune. GVS is committed to providing a long term sustainable facility to align with the company’s carbon net zero aspirations.”

Ben Hartropp, head of engineering at GVS Filter Technology UK, said: “The GVS team are excited about the chance to bring all our business functions together under one roof.”

Cassidy + Ashton is currently preparing the detailed drawings for the new facilities with the project expected to go out to tender for contractors this autumn. Work is due to start on site in January 2024, with a view of completing by spring 2025.

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