Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone launches to the property sector

Property experts gathered in Manchester last week to find out about the strengths of locating within Cheshire and Warrington and how the financial incentives offered by the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone could benefit their business and clients.

The Cheshire Science Corridor stretches across the Cheshire and Warrington sub-region and incorporates some of Britain’s most innovative and significant science based businesses including Urenco at Capenhurst; Daresbury Science Park; to AstraZeneca at Hurdsfield; and Jodrell Bank.

A portfolio of sites within the Cheshire Science Corridor have been granted Enterprise Zone status at Birchwood, Thornton Science Park, Alderley Park and across Ellesmere Port including at Protos and Hooton Park. The Enterprise Zone was launched in May 2016, and is expected to lever in approximately £100m of additional investment which will be reinvested in essential infrastructure to support business growth.

Financial incentives offered to businesses locating on the Enterprise Zone sites include providing significant help with business rates for science based and high growth companies and will allow new investors to benefit from enhanced capital allowances at sites in Ellesmere Port and at Thornton Science Park.

At the event, which was sponsored by Peel, representatives from a wide range of developers including Bilfinger GVA, BE Group, Lambert Smith Hampton, Peel Environmental, Langtree and Legat Owen, joined together with Enterprise Zone partners Cheshire and Warrington LEP, Cushman and Wakefield and representatives from Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East and Warrington councils to promote how EZ status can offer a competitive advantage.

Heather Standidge, Associate Director at Cushman and Wakefield, who is working with Cheshire and Warrington LEP to deliver the Enterprise Zone, said: “This was a great opportunity to bring together a broad mix of property companies from across the North West to promote the incentives offered through the Enterprise Zone. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with businesses telling us that they came away with a clear understanding of the strength and breadth of opportunities not just within Enterprise Zone sites, but across the Cheshire Science Corridor as a whole. From a property perspective, it is clear that the financial incentives offered by EZ status provide a true competitive advantage to attracting new occupiers and supporting job creation and economic growth.”

Philip Cox, Chief Executive of Cheshire and Warrington LEP, said: “As the home to a leading and nationally significant science sector, the launch of the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone is an exciting opportunity for Cheshire and Warrington to drive further economic growth and for us to have the capacity to deliver the crucial infrastructure we need to support it.

“Our aim is to make Cheshire and Warrington the best place in the country to set up and grow a business and the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone is a flagship of this initiative, and it was great to have the opportunity to bring the property sector together to promote the benefits offered through the EZ.”

Jonathan Walsh, Head of Business Park Portfolio at PATRIZIA, said: “We’re building on some very strong fundamentals here, with global operations having already chosen Cheshire and Warrington as their home. The fact that all additional business rate revenue will be invested back into the local area for the next 25 years is an exciting prospect which will support enhanced economic growth. At Birchwood Park we are looking forward to working together with other EZ sites to collectively promote the Cheshire Science Corridor as a first class destination for business growth and innovation in the UK.”

Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone: The Opportunities

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We are delighted to invite you to a morning seminar providing an overview of the opportunities presented by the Cheshire Science Corridor and the financial incentives offered to occupiers within the Enterprise Zone. The Enterprise Zone includes sites and premises at Alderley Park, Birchwood, Thornton Science Park and across Ellesmere Port.

The session is focused towards property professionals across the sub-region including agents, developers and investors.

The seminar is free to attend but places are limited.

Please RSVP to rachel.holmes@cushwake.com to secure your place.

Date & Time
Thursday 15 September
8:00 for breakfast
8:30 start
10:00 session close/networking

Venue
Cushman & Wakefield
No. 1 Marsden Street
Manchester
M2 1HW

Business networking event at Thornton welcomes local rally clubs in run-up to Dayinsure Wales Rally GB

Rally cars and a race track were the focus of a cross-border business networking meeting that took place at the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park.

Thornton, which is home to the University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, and also to many businesses in the advanced manufacturing, automotive, energy and environmental sectors, played host to the Mersey Dee Alliance (MDA) Innovation Network Business breakfast. The event was sponsored by Dayinsure Wales Rally GB, which was accompanied on the day by GoMotorsportand local rally clubs.

Professor Tim Wheeler, the University’s Vice Chancellor, gave a welcome address to the event, explaining that the institution is proud to be a strategic partner of the MDA. The MDA Innovation Network is a bi-monthly gathering bringing together local businesses from the four local authorities partnering together as the MDA; Cheshire West and Chester, Flintshire, Wrexham andWirral. It offers a unique cross border networking opportunity, where businesses can showcase their offering with an exhibition stand, as well as the option to present a short two minute pitch about their business.

Wales Rally GB – the UK round of the FIA World Rally Championship – is coming to the region between October 27 and 30, and will be based in Deeside. Following the business meeting, a mini rally track was created on one of the large car parks on site, to give delegates a flavour of rally car racing. Local rally clubs were on hand to offer delegates a passenger ride. Full details about Wales Rally GB can be found at www.walesrallygb.com.

Paul Vernon, Executive Director of Commercial Operations at the University of Chester, said: “It was great to welcome the Mersey Dee Alliance, Wales Rally GB, GoMotorsport and the local rally clubs to Thornton. We have received excellent feedback about the event, which saw over 200 delegates registered and seven business pitches made. The added highlight of the race track and rally ride proved very popular among the attendees.”

Pictured: Wales rally gb_1: Dayinsure Wales Rally GB sponsored the Mersey Dee Alliance Innovation Network breakfast, held at Thornton.

Multi-million pound Intelligent Energy System Demonstrator project underway at University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park.

  • Willmott Dixon appointed to refurbish building set to house Energy Demonstrator
  • Demonstrator will support and enable energy research, innovation and technology development
  • Project funded by the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership ‘Local Growth Fund’
  • Local companies in the energy sector are being invited to engage with the project.

The University of Chester has appointed construction and regeneration specialists Willmott Dixon to refurbish and develop a large building which will house an Intelligent Energy System Demonstrator (IESD). The building sits on the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park and the Demonstrator will be a flagship innovation project of the Cheshire Science Corridor – the new Enterprise Zone announced by the Government last autumn and developed by Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership. The project is due to be completed in spring 2017.

Willmott Dixon Managing Director Anthony Dillon said: “We are delighted to be working with the University of Chester to deliver the Intelligent Energy Systems Demonstrator project, a fantastic facility which will be central to growth of the energy research sector within Cheshire. Our focus on employing local companies will provide a great opportunity for local people to be involved with this innovative project.”

Engaging with the energy industry

Companies with an involvement in the energy sector are being invited to be part of the multi-million pound project which will, ultimately, shape the sector’s future.

The team behind the Intelligent Energy System Demonstrator (IESD) project at Thornton Science Park is keen to hear from energy-related businesses who would be interested in being part of the facility, which will be aiming to aid the development of cost effective and environmentally responsible sources of energy.

Drawing on the wealth of technical expertise, facilities and supporting infrastructures that are available on site, the IESD will be a space where industry can work alongside the University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering (as is happening already throughout Thornton Science Park). The Demonstrator will become a nationally significant facility, primarily aimed at supporting and enabling energy research, innovation and technology development, to meet the growth needs of the sector. Energy companies will be able to test at scale new power saving and distribution technologies, aiding the development of low cost, environmentally responsible sources of energy.

The proposed development is being funded from the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), who will be contributing up to £6.8m from the Local Growth Fund awarded as part of the LEP’s Growth Deal

Philip Cox, Chief Executive of Cheshire and Warrington LEP, said: “Science is one of Cheshire and Warrington’s key strengths and its growth will play a key role in our ambitions to deliver a £50bn economy for the area by 2040. The Energy Demonstrator is a significant development for the sector and for Thornton Science Park, one of the key sites within the Cheshire Science Corridor which recently launched as an Enterprise Zone. This nationally significant project will be a flagship for the site.”

Enabling productivity and growth

The shared facility will provide a flexible place (including office and laboratory space) for research, innovation and development. It will house various equipment for industry and academics, providing the capability for researchers to ‘plug and play’ with a number of facilities, across all aspects of energy systems (conventional and unconventional) and smart grids. All manner of energy sources are expected to be available for testing including the electrical grid, gas, solar voltaic and steam networks.

It will specifically focus on the following areas of the industry:

• Computational modelling

• Materials identification and analysis

• Engineering and mechanical design

• Environmental modelling and testing

• Onshore Gas and Oil

• Smart grids and cities (including the Internet of Things.)

Professor Joseph Howe, Executive Director of the Thornton Energy Research Institute at the University of Chester, said: “The Energy Demonstrator is a vital initiative for the energy sector and its future security and sustainability and the University is thrilled to be hosting this project. This facility will become the showcase for new and innovative energy technologies, supporting their commercialisation and providing models for the generation, supply and management of energy too.

“There is also a great knock-on potential for our students, not only with industrial work-placement opportunities, but we anticipate that the science generated within the Demonstrator will be used by University staff to inform the science and engineering curricula at Thornton, to create, develop and maintain a highly trained workforce in the sector.”

Project delivery

Refurbishment and construction of the facility is being project managed by AECOM and includes delivery from Ryder architects, Arup design and WYG quantity surveyors. The project is expected to be completed by March 2017, allowing tenants to take occupancy in June 2017.

Companies wishing to find out more can contact:

Email: thornton@chester.ac.uk

Tel: 01244 567 500

Commercial Operations

University of Chester

Thornton Science Park, Pool Lane, Ince, Cheshire, CH2 4NU

The Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal of £142.7 million to be invested in Cheshire & Warrington will help to create up to 9,000 jobs, allow up to 400 homes to be built, and generate up to £50m in public and private investment. The Cheshire & Warrington Growth Deal is part of a £12 billion long-term programme to revitalise local economies

Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone showcased at International Festival for Business

Partners in the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone (EZ) joined together to promote the benefits of investing in the EZ at the International Festival for Business last month, which took place at Liverpool’s Arena and Convention Centre.

As the world’s top business event, IFB offered a great oppportunity to showcase Cheshire’s science assets, along with the opportunities offered by the EZ, to the 30,000 delegates that attended the Festival this year over the three week period.

Representatives from EZ partners, including Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire East Council and Warrington Borough Council, along with sites within the Enterprise Zone including Birchwood Park, Thornton Science Park and Alderley Park, were on hand to talk delegates through the opportunties offered by the EZ and the incentives available to businesses.

Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone launches with the potential to lever £100m investment

Cheshire and Warrington’s Enterprise Zone, the Cheshire Science Corridor, officially launched today (24th May 2016) at Warrington’s Birchwood Science Park, one of a number of science rich sites across Cheshire that forms the Science Corridor.

The award of Enterprise Zone status by Government in October 2015 offers the potential for the Cheshire Science Corridor, which covers over 100 hectares in total, to attract up to 20,000 jobs and 500 businesses to Cheshire and Warrington through business incentives and the ability to retain and reinvest new business rate revenue. The Enterprise Zone is expected to lever in approximately £100m additional investment which will be reinvested in essential infrastructure to support business growth.

The Cheshire Science Corridor stretches from Urenco at Capenhurst in the West, through to AstraZeneca at Hurdsfield in the East and South down to Jodrell Bank.

Led by Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), in partnership with the three local authorities of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire East Council and Warrington Borough Council, the Enterprise Zone will enable the LEP to deliver a range of incentives for businesses. This includes providing significant help with business rates for high growth companies in the life sciences sector at Alderley Park, the leading life science facility in the North of England and the largest R&D facility of its kind in the UK. With over £550m invested by AstraZeneca in world-class facilities over the past decade, Alderley Park is one of the best-invested bioscience R&D sites in Europe.

It will also promote the development of the nuclear cluster at Birchwood through infrastructure and other improvements, and will allow new investors to benefit from enhanced capital allowances in Ellesmere Port and at Thornton Science Park.

Robert Mee, Chair of the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone, said: “The Cheshire and Warrington LEP believe the Science and Energy sectors are hugely important in our sub-region. We identified a number of sites with high growth potential and a skilled workforce and it is these sites that make up the Enterprise Zone and will offer significant incentives to attract more science based businesses to help grow these key sectors”.

Since the Enterprise Zone was established on 1st April, there have already been a number of applications across the Enterprise Zone, including its first tenant, global medical diagnostics company, Werfen Ltd, the UK affiliate of Werfen Group which manufactures diagnostic instruments for the health sector. Werfen UK has been based in the Birchwood area for over 35 years and is directly involved in the science based industrial supply chain. The UK operation is focussed on education, training and research and development facilities to support learning, innovation and knowledge transfer in the science sector.

Xavier Soler, Werfen’s Financial Controller, said: “Werfen wanted to locate to a place where we can retain and recruit the best staff, and one that is well connected for our sales team, and Birchwood Park within the new Enterprise Zone was ideal for its range of tenants, facilities and build we could convert, as well as the added incentives offered through the EZ.

Martin O’Rourke, commercial director at Birchwood Park, commented:

“Warrington and Birchwood’s businesses and local authorities have helped attract global companies such as National Nuclear Laboratories and AMEC Foster Wheeler, growing respected nuclear clusters as a result. The formation of the new Enterprise Zone can be expected to build the area’s international profile in much the same way, further bringing opportunities to benefit local development and the wider community.

“We are already receiving enquiries as a result of the EZ announcement, and with businesses such as Werfen basing their staff at Birchwood Park, we will continue to adapt to correspond with their needs. The completion of the recent road works as part of the Birchwood Pinch Point has been one improvement, and we will continue to work with WBC in furthering the success of the Cheshire Science Corridor.”