Search starts for innovative businesses to move into Peterborough's university Research & Development hub

Construction of £16.7 million hub expected by end of year

Saturday, 30th July 2022, 5:00 am

Innovative businesses are being sought to make their home at Peterborough’s new £16.7 million research and development centre that sits adjacent to the city’s new university.

Work has started to market the three storey building - the first dedicated R&D space to be built in Peterborough - worldwide as construction continues with completion expected by the end of the year.

It is hoped the research and development centre, which will have the triple Queen’s Award winning Photocentric as its anchor tenant, will help create a flow of new job-creating businesses into the city.

This image shows how the new Research and Development Centre, which stands next to ARU Peterborough, will appear once completed later this year.

William Rose, director in the business space team at Savills Peterborough, which is marketing the R&D Centre, said: “Hopefully the centre will spin out a lot of jobs for Peterborough as businesses which develop in the centre then scale up and move into premises nearby.

He said: “This is a milestone for the city.

“The Research & Innovation Centre is the first dedicated R&D space to be built in Peterborough.

“We’ve not had a research and development centre before and because this is all new it will take time to get the momentum going.”

An aerial view of the Research and Development Centre in Peterborough under construction. Work is already underway to market the R&D hub to innovative businesses.

The new centre will be a hub for the science and technology sector providing 2,800 square metres of flexible research and development space over three floors.

There will be nine suites with sizes ranging from 72 square metres to 116 square metres.

But the emphasis will be on flexibility with the final set up and sizes dependent on the needs of the occupiers.

The second floor has been pre-let to Photocentric, whilst the remaining space is available to let at a starting quoting rent of £15 per square foot.

The new Research and Development Centre, near the new university in Peterborough, is taking shape.

Mr Rose said: “We are already talking to a couple of companies - a products maker and a medical business.

“We are marketing in the Oxford - Cambridge Arc area and through organisations like Business Growth looking overseas.

He said: “Peterborough is well placed to capitalise on the growth of the science and technology sector, especially given its comparably lower rents to nearby hotspots such as Cambridge.

“With this in mind, we anticipate a number of enquiries regarding potential pre-lets.”

The R&D Centre will also feature flexible collaboration and events space, a reception desk, security management office.

There will be a lift, male/female/gender neutral and accessible toilet provision and baby changing facilities and accessible showers.

Outside there will be a cycle shelter, nine parking spaces adjacent to the building with up to 100 car

spaces in the Bishop Road Car Park.

Professor Ross Renton, principal of ARU Peterborough, which opens to students in September, said: “By locating on the campus, companies will have the potential opportunity to benefit from collaborating with the university on a wider range of areas, from consultancy and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships to professional development and funding opportunities.

“The University can also help companies access the best in graduate talent, academic expertise and research.”

Funding for the research and development centre is made up of £13.7 million from the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority plus £3 million from Photocentric.

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