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Significant Science Park Deal Boosts Job Market

A leading software company is creating 500 jobs in Leicestershire after agreeing on a move to a major new office development at the UK’s largest university science park.

Construction of the new 100,000 sq ft headquarters at the Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP) is underway after The Access Group agreed on a 15-year lease on the building.

Access Group is a major regional hirer in the Midlands, employing more than 1,500 people; the firm also serves over 15,000 companies across the UK.

Development on the new letting has been forward funded by Leicestershire County Council and is estimated to generate £1.6m per year for the Council front-line services.

Council Deputy leader, Byron Rhodes dug the first soil at the site to officially start work on the new HQ.

Speaking at the event, Mr Rhodes said: “I’m pleased to start work on this scheme as it marks another significant step forward in the council’s mission to invest in property and then put the money back into front-line services.

“This new office space will create around 500 new jobs and represents a pioneering partnership between the Council and Loughborough University.”

The deal for the new unit in LUSEP was concluded by joint agents Lambert Smith Hampton and Andrew and Ashwell and marks the start of an exciting expansion at the university which could potentially lead to more pre-let deals involving major businesses.

Jane Taylor, a consultant at agents Andrew and Ashwell, said: “This is a really exciting development and will be the first of many similar deals, potentially bringing thousands of jobs and huge investment to the region.”

Meanwhile, Phil Quiggin, Head of Office at LSH in Nottingham, added: “The Access Group development is the first building to be pre-let at LUSEP by, and for, an organisation that is not directly related to the University. It, therefore, creates a very significant template and paves the way for the University to deliver further pre-let opportunities either with the County Council or potentially with other partners based at LUSEP.”

LUSEP is one of the most accessible sites in the UK and sits adjacent to one of the UK’s leading universities, specialising in engineering and advanced technologies, as well as a high calibre graduate workforce.

Home to a thriving community of more than 75 organisations in multiple sector clusters, LUSEP’s expansion will add 84 hectares to the current 19-hectare site.

Professor Tracy Bhamra, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise) at Loughborough University, said: “This new building is the first new development of LUSEP’s expansion within Loughborough and Leicester Science and Innovation Enterprise Zone. The Access Group is one of the UK’s top employers and innovators, and a perfect fit for LUSEP. It has already established mutually beneficial links with the University since opening a technical development and support centre at LUSEP in November 2016.”

The plans for the expansion were first announced last August and were approved by Charnwood Borough Council in October of last year – Practical completed is expected in 2020, and Wates Construction is delivering the project.

Featured Image: (from left) Phil Quiggin, of Lambert Smith Hampton, with Professor Tracy Bhamra, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise) at Loughborough University, Jon Walker, Director of Enterprise at Loughborough University, Jane Taylor, of Andrew and Ashwell, and Paul Watson, University Surveyor at Loughborough University, at the development site.

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