Construction of Liverpool Science Park’s (LSP) £8m third building at the heart of Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter is underway.
Innovation Centre 3 (ic3) will provide 42,000 sq ft of additional office and laboratory space to accompany the two buildings already at the park, which are now more than 90 per cent occupied.
The state-of-the-art, four floor building will be constructed over the existing car park of Innovation Centre 1 (ic1) off Mount Pleasant and a double storey-bridge will link it to the ic1 building. It will include flexible office space, fully serviced biology and chemistry laboratories, meeting rooms and under-croft car parking.
The third building will complete the development of LSP’s Metropolitan Cathedral site which links the city’s two universities and its growing Knowledge Quarter. The project is due for completion in spring 2014.
Half of the construction costs are being underwritten by the science park’s owners Liverpool City Council, the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University, with the balance being provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson said: “Liverpool Science Park plays a vital role in the heart of our Knowledge Quarter, providing a home for some of the city’s brightest minds and entrepreneurial talents.
“It’s fantastic to see the facility continuing to grow and evolve. This new, state-of-the-art building will further improve LSP’s world-class offer and strengthen its position as the destination of choice for science-based companies from all over the country. I’m looking forward to work getting underway.”
Sir Howard Newby, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool (UoL) and Chair of the Liverpool Science Park Board, said: “Investment in Liverpool Science Park is crucial in nurturing up-and-coming business talents and supporting them in turning their ideas into successful commercial ventures. The growth of the science park is crucial to the development of the city’s Knowledge Quarter and to enhance Liverpool’s wealth of scientific expertise.”
Prof Nigel Weatherill, Vice-Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University, said: “This new development within the Knowledge Quarter shows the commitment of LSP to developing innovative knowledge and technology exchange, whilst creating a stimulating and exciting learning environment for everyone, from graduates through to established businesses.
“Research and Development in science and technology is key to supporting the local economy, and Liverpool John Moores University is proud to be part of this pioneering community.”
Chris Musson, chief executive of Liverpool Science Park said: “The construction of ic3 is a key milestone for the science park and marks the next chapter in its history. LSP started life back in 2006 with a vision to build up a thriving community of like-minded science and technology businesses and we have delivered on this.
“ic3 will be instrumental in the next stage of growth at the science park to further develop our strong offering of office and laboratory space for innovative science and knowledge intensive companies, reinforcing its position as one of the region’s leading science parks.”
The high-quality design of the building, with floor to ceiling glazing to maximise natural light, mirrors the limestone and slate features of ic1 and compliments the surrounding buildings within the Mount Pleasant Conservation Area.
The building was designed by multi award winning Ryder Architecture. Morgan Sindall has won the contact to deliver the project which will see around 60 people from the local area employed at the site at the peak of construction.
Barry Roberts, area director for Morgan Sindall in Liverpool, said: “ic3 will provide first-class facilities for innovative, growing businesses while also providing contemporary office and social space, which will help to facilitate engagement between the science and business communities.”
The Knowledge Quarter has been designated a Mayoral Development Zone and a third innovation centre at Liverpool Science Park has been identified as a key priority of the City Centre Strategic Investment Framework to help increase the area’s economic potential and to attract and retain research companies and high growth businesses.