‘High tech hot house’ on university campus set to house 50 new businesses

A £12 million building project at the University of Essex campus in Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, is set to house up to 50 high tech businesses at the University’s Knowledge Gateway as part of an ambitious masterplan to eventually see some 2000 people working there.

Part of high tech development

The Innovation Centre, with funding from both the South East Local Enterprise Partnership and Essex County Council, is being built by Kier Construction Eastern who envisage the completion of the 38,000 square feet building by early 2019.

The Knowledge Gateway already has a business community of more than 20 small enterprises located at the Parkside Office Village, and this and the new Innovation Centre will help businesses benefit greatly from being based on a campus offering excellent resources and facilities.

The university describes the new Innovation Centre as a ‘high tech hot house’ with the accent being very much on providing a modern, well connected and resource-filled business start up environment where fledgling companies can flourish and grow easily through open access to top class support.

Linking businesses and facilities in a £50 million investment

The university has so far invested £50 million in its 43 acre Knowledge Gateway site since kicking off the project in 2010, and some of their graduates have already found positions with some of the businesses located there.

The Innovation Centre, along with the existing buildings, will be a modern styled, thoughtfully designed structure with space around it to provide an efficient and pleasant working environment. Much thought has gone into the general design of the Knowledge Gateway complex generally – it’s a fair bet much effort went into the architecture and a measured building survey may well have figured somewhere along the line.

University campus offers businesses excellent facilities

Along with excellent research facilities, not to mention a chance for businesses to attract top class talent from the pool of students and graduates, there are modern campus facilities within a five minute walk and the thriving, modern town of Colchester is right on the doorstep.

Businesses setting up shop in the new Innovation Centre can benefit from the following campus facilities:

  • Research facilities such as ESSEXLab
  • Interpretation facilities to UN standards
  • Conference facilities
  • Graphic design and print through in-house studio (actually will be located in the Innovation Centre)
  • Sports and gym including regular classes
  • Many cafes, bars and restaurants
  • Mini market and banking facilities
  • Recreational facilities including theatre, art gallery and 200 acres of parkland

The university’s £21 million Essex Business School – opened in 2015 – is very close to the new business buildings and offers education options including MBA courses and a large cafe ideal for more informal meet ups.

Choosing a work space

The university’s Knowledge Gateway generally and the Innovation Centre in particular provide space suitable for small, medium and large businesses who choose to design their own bespoke workspace.

The university’s design and build team can be consulted to help create the ideal space in the new facility based on the business’s specific requirements.