A new £10m environmentally sustainable office scheme, based at Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster, has been given the go ahead after it was confirmed that it would be part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Leeds-based property developer Prospect Property Group can now begging construction on the scheme, which is set to create over a hundred new jobs.
The new Doncaster International Business Park will provide office accommodation for 134 staff in 41 ‘workpod’ office units of 1,450 sq ft and 1,600 sq ft, creating a total of almost 62,000 sq ft of new office space on a site adjacent to Robin Hood Airport. Environmental criteria will be a key consideration in the scheme, which will deliver the most energy efficient office accommodation in the area.
Richard Burns, strategic director at Prospect Property Group, said: “We are really excited about this development, which breaks new ground in all sorts of ways. The green credentials of the workpods are second to none and we are raising the bar for office accommodation with the sustainability, flexibility and impressively low running costs of these office units.”
The workpods’ sustainable design agenda includes a ‘fabric first’ approach to energy efficiency, using the structure of the building to retain heat, rather than relying on renewable energy devices such as solar panels and ground-source heat-pumps. With super-high insulation, absolute air-tightness, and large windows and roof lights to harvest the sun’s energy, the office units will retain maximum heat inside the buildings.
The £10m project has secured ERDF funding on the strength of its potential to create new employment in South Yorkshire, and will be developed in two phases, with contractors due to start work on the first phase of the scheme this month (October). Negotiations are already advanced to appoint agents and completion of phase I is expected in May 2015.
“We are already seeing enquiries about the workpods from small businesses that have outgrown incubator space and are looking for the right location for growth and expansion,” said Richard.
He added: “Construction of the new link road from the M18 to Robin Hood Airport is already underway, and with Doncaster IPort set to create Yorkshire’s largest rail freight terminal, the area is rapidly becoming a cutting edge location to do business.”
Bob Johnson, cabinet member for regeneration at Doncaster Council, said: “The scheme is indicative of the forward-looking and joined-up approach to regeneration that we are striving for in Doncaster, delivering new jobs and quality sustainable business space. Securing ERDF funding is an exhaustive process and one that marks out the credentials of Doncaster International Business Park as a long-term asset to the South Yorkshire economy.”