The University of Reading has begun construction at Thames Valley Science Park at Shinfield in Berkshire which, once complete, will provide more than 800,000 sq ft (74,322 sq m) of new offices, labs and conferencing facilities. Savills is the appointed letting agent for the scheme.
The University Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell, was joined by the board of directors, senior staff members from the university and the project team at a ceremony to mark the ground breaking of the Gateway Building, the first property to be built on the 50 acre (20 hectare) site by GRAHAM Construction. Due for completion in summer 2017, the 75,000 sq ft (6,967.7 sq m) landmark building is already attracting small and medium sized innovation led and technology based occupiers to the park.
This follows the recent opening of the new six-lane bridge over the M4, which will provide access to the Science Park. Built by HOCHTIEF (UK) Construction and funded by a loan from the Homes & Communities Agency, the newly named University Bridge is now open to southbound traffic; remaining tie-in works to open the bridge to northbound traffic will be completed by late August. This is part of the key infrastructure works set to improve connectivity to the site.
Jon Gardiner, Head of National Office Agency at Savills, comments: “This major investment into the Thames Valley Science Park will reinforce the already pre-eminent status of the Thames Valley as one of Europe’s strongest knowledge economies as a top location for innovation and technology companies. When complete, the park will provide a campus of flexible laboratory and office space, which will be able to accommodate up to 5,000 jobs, along with a wide selection of new housing around Shinfield for staff.”
Dr David Gillham, Director of Thames Valley Science Park, adds: “Starting work on the Gateway Building is the first step in the University’s ambitious long term vision.
“Thames Valley Science Park will generate jobs, promote innovation and stimulate growth while nurturing start-up business and helping small firms grow rapidly. We are proud to be investing in the region, a major powerhouse of the British economy.”