Leicestershire County Council deputy leader Byron Rhodes dug the first soil at the site of The Access Group’s new 100,000 sq. ft. office HQ on the Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP), which is due to open in July 2020.
Byron 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.”
Professor Tracy Bhamra, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Enterprise) at Loughborough University, said: “This new building marks the start of exciting expansion at LUSEP 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 Access Group serves over 16,000 UK companies and employs in excess of 1,600 people, with more than a third of its workforce based in the Midlands.
Jonathan Jorgensen, Chief Sales Officer at The Access Group, said: “We are extremely pleased to be breaking ground on our new head office. We wanted to focus on the right location for our continued expansion and Loughborough is a logical choice with easy access to skilled people from the University and the surrounding area."
The plans were first announced back in August last year by Midlands Engine Ministerial Champion Rt. Hon. James Brokenshire MP. They were approved by Charnwood Borough Council in October.
The project will be delivered by Wates Construction through Major Works UK, part of the Scape National Construction framework.
Perfect Circle – a joint venture company formed by consultants Pick Everard, Gleeds and AECOM – is providing multi-professional consultancy services for the project through the Scape Built Environment Consultancy Services (BECS) framework.
The project team, led by Perfect Circle, includes local architects SGP as lead designers, commercial property agents Andrew & Ashwell and Lambert Smith Hampton, planning consultants GVA and solicitors Browne Jacobson.
John Carlin, Regional Managing Director, Wates Construction Midlands, commented: "This is a pioneering venture for Leicestershire and our appointment as main contractor further demonstrates our position as the construction company of choice in the East Midlands.
“Today marks an exciting point in the project’s life as building work commences and our dedicated site team is ready to deliver this striking office building to the quality worthy of its place within LUSEP’s dynamic innovation community.”
Full picture caption: County Council deputy leader Byron Rhodes, front, right, with Professor Tracy Bhamra, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Enterprise) at Loughborough University, signal the start of work on The Access Group's new HQ at the university's Science and Enterprise Park. Also pictured, back, from left, are: Alistair McCallum, Regional Director, Wates Group, Evan Puzey, Divisional Marketing Director for The Access Group, and Adrian Ceney, Partner at Pick Everard.