25 August 2010

Knowledge Gateway turf-cutting ceremony

Colchester Campus

Turf-cutting ceremony

The Mayor of Colchester, Councillor Sonia Lewis, was guest of honour at a special turf-cutting ceremony to mark the official start of work on the University of Essex’s 40-acre Knowledge Gateway.

With the University’s flagship Institute for Democracy and Conflict Resolution at its heart, the Knowledge Gateway will build on the University’s links with business, public and third-sector organisations. It will provide research and development and office space for start-up businesses through to major blue-chip companies, as well as associated hotel, and leisure facilities, eventually creating up to 2,000 jobs.

To mark the start of work on the £7 million infrastructure development at the Colchester Campus, a special turf-cutting ceremony was held at Salary Brook Farm, in Elmstead Road.

Contractors Jackson Civil Engineering of Ipswich will design and build the roads and services and carry out the landscaping for the new research and business complex. This phase of the development is due to be completed in spring 2011. In addition to research and business space, the site will eventually accommodate up to 1,300 student bedrooms and a private residential development.

Developed as a joint venture between Carisbrooke Alliance and the University, the Knowledge Gateway will provide 400,000 sq ft of research, business and support services space including a 32,000 sq ft office village. Letting agents for the development are Whybrow and Carter Jonas.

Dr Tony Rich, Registrar of the University, said: ‘This exciting project will be a major boost to the economic development of Colchester and the region and the University is looking forward to working closely with like-minded enterprises.

‘The Knowledge Gateway is key to the University’s strategic vision to be a globally competitive, research-intensive university that takes seriously its economic, social and cultural responsibilities to the eastern region, the UK and the world.’

The project will include a new junction with traffic signals on the A133 Clingoe Hill, providing a safe crossing point for students. The University’s Estate Management Section will be working closely with Jacksons to develop a timetable for the roadworks to minimise disruption to motorists and keep all road users updated.

Ends

Note to Editors
For further information please call the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 872400 or e-mail comms@essex.ac.uk

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