A significant new road junction opened in Colchester on Thursday 8 December, creating the entrance to the University of Essex’s planned Knowledge Gateway research park.
The signalised junction off the A133 dual carriageway between Greenstead roundabout and the Wivenhoe turning is part of a £7 million project to build the roads and infrastructure for the development.
A joint venture between Carisbrooke Alliance and the University, the Knowledge Gateway will provide 400,000 sq ft of research, business and support services for blue chip, public and third-sector organisations, and is eventually expected to create up to 2,000 new jobs. It will include a 32,000 sq ft office village designed to attract smaller start-up and spin-out companies that can benefit from the proximity of the University and opportunities to work with it.
Vice Chancellor Professor Colin Riordan said: “Laying the foundations for the Knowledge Gateway is an important step for the University and for Colchester, giving a potential boost to economic growth at a difficult time and, ultimately, creating significant numbers of jobs. We look forward to welcoming both fledgling and established businesses and organisations to share in the opportunities that working together might create."
In addition to a new junction for motor vehicles, the work on the A133 Clingoe Hill includes a Toucan pedestrian and cyclist crossing with traffic lights to provide a safe crossing point for students. The University worked closely with the Students’ Union, recognising this opportunity to improve student safety.
"The opening of the new junction is a key improvement to the development of the campus,” said Ashley Rudge, VP Welfare and Community for the University of Essex Students' Union. “It represents the culmination of five years of campaigning from the Students' Union, for a safer and more accessible crossing on Clingoe Hill."
The timetable for the roadworks was developed in close consultation with contractors Jackson Civil Engineering, Essex County Council and road users, to minimise disruption to motorists. The University would like to thank local residents and other road users for their patience while work progressed.
The new junction replaces Elmstead Road as the motor vehicle route onto the north side of campus for University students, staff, Day Nursery users and visitors. The University’s main entrance remains on the south side of the campus.
A flagship building planned for the heart of the Knowledge Gateway, to be designed by renowned architect and Essex alumnus, Daniel Libeskind, will house the University’s Institute for Democracy and Conflict Resolution, which works with organisations around the world to carry out independent research and policy analysis in areas including human rights, justice, democracy and governance.
For more information please contact the Communications Office at the University on 01206 874200, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or see: www.essexknowledgegateway.co.uk.