Completion of SGP-designed £21m office project at LUSEP flies the flag for public-private partnership
A new £21m office building, hailed as a pioneering example of public-private partnership, has reached completion at the Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP). Designed by AJ100 architectural practice Stephen George + Partners (SGP) and funded by Leicestershire County Council, the 109,000sq ft office development is to become the new HQ for leading UK software developer The Access Group. At the time of signing the contracts, it was the largest single let office deal in the county this century.
The new office building is the first development to complete in the Enterprise Zone at LUSEP, which aims to promote economic growth focused on the University and create 2-3,000 new jobs by providing high-quality space to attract new companies. The development has been made possible thanks to a pioneering partnership between Leicestershire County Council and Loughborough University. Investment in the new office space by the County Council will see the creation of over 500 new jobs and £1.6m a year for vital frontline county council services.
The distinctive structure has been designed by SGP as a focal point for the park. Externally, the glazing and cladding offer a simple form that relates positively to its surroundings, whilst internally, the flexible office space will welcome staff and visitors with a three-storey atrium entrance. The building maximises views to the south and west and a third-floor roof terrace creates a valuable external amenity space.
Ian Yallop, Chairman at SGP, said: “Many local authorities are now well placed to make commercial investments. As the successful completion of this development at LUSEP proves, local authorities can work collaboratively with the private sector, using our expertise to deliver quality and commercially successful projects.
“This is a very prestigious project in a vibrant and economically enterprising area and we’re proud to have been working with the County Council and University to deliver this pioneering development. It underlines the strength of the region as a great place to do business as well as driving growth and innovation.”
Jon Bennett, Head of Strategic Property Services at Leicestershire County Council, said: ““LUSEP is a flagship scheme which is a great example of how the County Council’s Corporate Asset Investment Fund generates money which it can then plough into front-line services such as maintaining our roads and supporting vulnerable people.
“It is an ambitious project that not only showcases the collaborative partnership between the County Council and Loughborough University, but the new office HQ will also be a great asset to the Science and Enterprise Park, help to create hundreds of jobs and boost the economy.”
The scheme will be officially unveiled at a virtual opening ceremony on 4 November.