Construction work set to begin on new multi-storey car park

Construction is set to begin on a new £9m multi-storey car park for Stevenage. The new car parking facility, to be built on the existing Railway North car park, is being delivered by specialist contractor Huber and was granted planning permission by Stevenage Borough Council in January 2022.

The new parking facility will deliver an increased number of spaces on this site. 622 spaces will be provided – up from 339 on the existing car park – and includes 30 blue badge spaces. Initially 30 spaces will be available for electric vehicles, with capacity to increase charging facilities significantly as demand increases. Secure parking for 80 bikes is included as part of the scheme.

The design of the car park highlights some of the best features of the town, creating a unique car park to support commuters and residents, and the economic growth of Stevenage.

Cllr Sharon Taylor OBE, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council said: “This is a hugely exciting development for Stevenage. Situated at the gateway to the town, we are creating a car park to support commuters and residents and providing an improved experience for those using the facilities. By future proofing the scheme, we are responding to changing customer requirements. The new car park on this site will perfectly complement the Bus Interchange and offer a number of ways for people to travel”.

The construction work means that the Railway North car park will be closing on Monday 23 May, for approximately a year. There is alternative parking provision within the town, and it is recommended to park at St George’s Way Multi-Storey car park (SG1 1EP) or Westgate Multi-Storey (SG1 1QR) car park during this closure.

Cllr John Gardner, Executive Portfolio Holder for Regeneration & Environment at Stevenage Borough Council said: “We understand that there will be a degree of frustration that we are closing the Railway North car park, and we would like to reassure residents that there is alternative parking provision in the town. Our town centre is being transformed through a £1bn regeneration programme, and as part of this, we want to ensure that our town centre is as accessible as possible and that people have travel choices when visiting the town.”

Huber is a specialist Multi storey car park design and build contractor working across the UK with variety of public and private development. Tomer Meirom of Huber said: “We are very excited to take part in the regeneration of Stevenage, the plans are grand, and we are proud to have been chosen to design and build this unique facility in such pivotal place in town. We hope to keep the disturbance to the public to the minimum necessary.”

These improved facilities will offer more for those using the railway station and improve the gateway to Stevenage. Together with the Stevenage Bus Interchange, this development will help to create a sustainable travel hub. By investing in sustainable facilities, including car parking for electric vehicles, secure storage for bicycles and the easy connection to the new bus interchange, people will have choices about how they travel.

Stevenage’s £9.6 million new bus interchange completed and ready to open later in the Spring

Stevenage’s new bus interchange on Lytton Way has reached another milestone.  At a completion and handover ceremony, the interchange and bus station building were handed over to Stevenage Borough Council on Thursday 10 March 2022. The interchange will see buses arriving and exiting to serve the people of Stevenage from late Spring 2022.

The event was attended by representatives from Stevenage Borough Council, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), contractors Willmott Dixon and other stakeholders including the Stevenage Town Centre Partnership.

Cllr Sandra Barr, Mayor of Stevenage, said:  “It was indeed a day to celebrate a wonderful milestone for the regeneration programme that is transforming our town.  I thank the many people from Stevenage Borough Council, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, our colleagues at Hertfordshire County Council and, of course, the contractors, Willmott Dixon – all have worked in the spirit of true partnership to arrive at this outstanding moment in time, despite the project being delivered through the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Work started on the project in late 2020, funded by a £9.6 million Local Growth Fund investment from Hertfordshire LEP, with the work completing on the first phase of the stages of the transport hub, connecting Stevenage Railway Station and the new bus interchange.

The development will drastically improve transport links across the town, provide better accessibility and align with the newly-regenerated Town Centre.

The interchange features an extensive canopy with a large glazed screen and automatic doors for easy passenger access. It also includes a passenger facilities building which provides a heated waiting area with extensive seating, live passenger information boards, a café, fully accessible toilet and changing facilities and shop mobility services.

External works include high quality public realm, seating areas with newly planted trees and a soon to be completed pedestrian connection.  This will link the bus interchange, town square and the train station, ensuring a clear connection between the existing cycle network and bus and rail networks and providing integrated links between Stevenage’s main transport hubs.

Cllr Sharon Taylor OBE, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council said: “We are delighted to have reached this milestone with our partners and to see the incredible progress that Willmott Dixon has made on such a key project. The interchange is a pivotal part of our £1 billion regeneration programme which is seeing us deliver some fantastic schemes. I am really looking forward to the bus interchange opening later in the year and serving the population of Stevenage with modern, upgraded facilities.”

Cllr John Gardner, Executive Portfolio Holder for Regeneration & Environment at Stevenage Borough Council, added: “The new interchange will offer a massive boost to the town centre and provides excellent upgraded facilities for everyone. It links more effectively with the newly expanded railway station and will enable a new Garden Square to be delivered at the location of the old bus station site. This is a really exciting time for Stevenage and our partners – all of whom have been integral to the success of our regeneration programme.”

“We are delighted the bus interchange project has reached this momentous milestone” commented Adam Wood, Chair of Hertfordshire LEP, “which will not only improve connectivity and transport links within Stevenage but also provide an attractive gateway for visitors that befits the redeveloped Town Centre. The scheme forms a key part of our £34m Local Growth Fund investment towards the town’s regeneration, set to help bring forth new homes, public amenities, and retail and business space to maximise the town’s economic potential.”

Simon Ramage, Director at Willmott Dixon concluded:

“We’re incredibly proud to be handing over the bus interchange to Stevenage Borough Council and to have delivered these fantastic new facilities for the local community. As a locally based construction company, we’re delighted to be part of the regeneration programme which is benefiting not only Stevenage, but also the surrounding areas.”

Work starts on landmark development in Stevenage

Following granting of planning permission by Stevenage Borough Council for the £66 million development which will become the European Manufacturing Headquarters of Autolus, a ground breaking ceremony was held today (8 November) at the former Marshgate carpark site.

This marks a milestone for the start of the works and was attended by representatives from Stevenage Borough Council, Autolus USA and UK, Reef Estates, UBS, Stevenage Development Board, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Stevenage Bio-Science Catalyst.

The development by Reef Estates received planning permission in August 2021, with work planned to start immediately and scheduled for completion in 2023.

Autolus, a biopharmaceutical company listed on the NASDAQ, are focused on the development of precisely targeted, controlled and highly active T Cell therapies that are designed to offer cancer patients substantial benefits over existing standards of care and this facility will be the UK’s first purpose built CAR T- Cell manufacturing unit and will assist in the growth of the Cell and Gene therapy cluster in Stevenage (currently the third largest in the world).

Cllr Sharon Taylor OBE, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council said: “I am very proud that Stevenage is home to a world-leading life science cluster already. This development will further enhance this and cement our standing as a leading STEM location within the UK. Autolus’s work perfectly complements the activities of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult already in Stevenage. We look forward to continuing to support this work with the life sciences sector to put Stevenage on the national map for the life science sector.”

Cllr Sandra Barr, Mayor of Stevenage said: “As we celebrate our 75th anniversary this year, it gives me great pleasure to see this happening right here in the town centre, bringing with it enormous benefits for the people of Stevenage, which includes employment and apprenticeship opportunities for young people – our next generation.”

Cllr John Gardner, Executive Portfolio Holder for Regeneration & Environment at Stevenage Borough Council, added:  “Today’s event marks an important milestone for Autolus developing their European Manufacturing Headquarters in Stevenage, and a key moment for our regeneration and Towns Fund programme. We’ve retained part of the Marshgate site as a car park to serve the needs of the local community and I look forward to this development bringing footfall to our town and supporting the local economy.”

Olivia Drew at UBS-AM REPM commented: “We are very excited to partner with Reef on a GMP-led facility in the centre of Stevenage, a globally recognised hub of scientific innovation. Stevenage offers all of the key structural drivers we see as being necessary to support a thriving life sciences eco-system, as demonstrated by Autolus’ significant commitment to the area. We would also like to thank Stevenage Borough Council and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for their ongoing support of this development.”

Will Rohleder, Development Director at Reef Group said: “This has been fantastic public /private partnership to realise such an important facility in Stevenage town centre. Autolus have decided to locate their manufacturing HQ in the town creating over 400 jobs and committing their future to Stevenage, which is experiencing significant investment and regeneration. We look forward to working with all parties to complete this first phase and bring forward our wider life science vision for the town centre over the next few years.”

The 81,000 sq. ft. building will focus on strong environmental credentials and is targeting BREEAM excellent rating Through net-zero carbon emission design that uses heat source pumps and heat recovery systems, significantly reducing waste through the use of 5D BIM technology and, through hybrid construction with 75% offsite manufactured content, resulting in significantly reduced carbon emissions.

Adrian Hawkins OBE, Chairman, Stevenage Development Board said: “From our first meeting with Autolus in January 2021, the Regeneration Team at Stevenage Borough Council have demonstrated both their clear ability, knowledge and speed in proposing sites and several contractors to Autolus which has since resulted in the swift progress to planning permission, now approved, for the new Autolus HQ, to be developed by Reef.”

Dr Sally Ann Forsyth OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst said: “At Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC) we have built a world class cluster of excellence accelerating the translation of cutting-edge science to improve the health and quality of people’s lives. We are delighted to continue our relationship with Autolus, which has been based at SBC since 2018, as it moves onto its next stage of development working with Reef and further strengthening the cluster here in Stevenage.”

Stevenage celebrates completion of the Town Square and North Block

Stevenage Borough Council celebrated the first major landmark in its ambitious £1bn 20 year town centre transformation with the completion and opening of the Town Square and North Block last Friday.

Originally developed in 1959 and rightly proud of its original first new town heritage, Stevenage’s Town Square has been sympathetically transformed to reflect that heritage and make way for the next exciting stages of the new SG1 development to complete the regeneration.

The refurbished Square provides an attractive area for the local community, businesses and visitors to meet.   With the iconic clock tower remaining a key feature, the Town Square benefits from attractive new paving – an updated version of the paving originally used which becomes more vibrant in colour when it rains.  Granite benches, new bins, bespoke heritage streetlamps and festoon lighting all help to provide a bigger and more flexible event space in our Town Centre.

The pandemic has had a profound impact on town centres everywhere.  With the increase in online shopping and the reduction in traditional retail, town centres need to be more ‘multifunctional’ and provide additional reasons for people to visit with a combination of residential, food and beverage, leisure and commercial facilities.  These facilities need to be available during the daytime as well as into the evening for the town to continue to be economically viable.

The recent announcement from pharmaceutical company Autolus that it wants to build its global headquarters in Marshgate demonstrates the importance and new purpose of the town centre.

 

The restoration of heritage building glass frontages are based on Stevenage’s original architectural design. Damaged canopies have been replaced with new ones made from highly durable and attractive Siberian larch.  The project has been completed utilising Growth Deal 3 funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership and delivered by Stevenage Borough Council, with contractor Ashe Construction.

With many workers primarily working from home, flexible workspace in our town centre has become ever more important.  The Council took ownership of and transformed the previously derelict / unused upper floors of North Block to provide 18,000 square feet of brand new accessible and usable space.  Co-Space, has taken this space and will be providing up to 200 desks, bringing more people in to the heart of the town.

Speaking from the new balcony of the North Block, in use for the first time in over 20 years, Sharon Taylor, OBE, Leader of the Council, said:

“This is an exciting day for Stevenage.  We all have reason to be extremely proud of our new Town Square and North Block and to celebrate. It’s great to see local residents and businesses enjoying our new 21st century facilities.

“This celebration heralds the start of a new era.  The events of the last 18 months have changed the way we live our lives forever.  Our New Town Square and North Block are major milestones in our Regeneration Programme that will help the town, its people and businesses to move forward. This amazing transformation has happened despite the challenges of the pandemic and is testament to the hard work and commitment of a dedicated team of people.  I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to achieve what we see here today.

“We can’t wait to share with you our exciting plans for the current bus station once the new interchange is up and running, what an amazing time for Stevenage.”

Cllr John Gardner, executive member for Environment and Regeneration added:

“Stevenage should be very proud of its newly regenerated North Block and Town Square.  Today marks the celebration of one of the most unique post-war town centre regeneration projects in the country.”

Stevenage Town Centre Regeneration: What’s changing?

The Comet
Georgia Barrow
15 January 2020

Visitors to the town centre in recent months will have noticed a major increase in development activity.

So far, Market Place has benefitted from the introduction of a play trail, work has started on Queensway North – the former Marks & Spencer building – and the Town Square, which have both seen new retail outlets and leisure and residential facilities.

There have also been a number of private developments – such as Park Place – nearing completion.

Hundreds of residents have taken part in a number of consultations held by the council as well as private firms hoping to be a part of the huge redevelopment of the town centre, including Mace, which has recently submitted a planning application for the biggest development in the regeneration plans, called SG1.

Stevenage is set to benefit from the provision of up to £25m from the New Towns Fund to further develop its regeneration plans. All in all, there’s a significant amount of activity taking place in the town at the moment.

The regeneration programme is a boost for those looking to see upgrades to the central areas of the town.

Across the country, town and city centres are facing challenges. Reports from late last year by PriceWaterhouseCooper revealed that around 16 shops are closing every day, the highest rate since the survey began in 2010.

In Stevenage, the regeneration plan is to revitalise the town, to provide a place for people to live, work, relax and play. This plan learns from studies like The Grimsey Review, that recommend kickstarting town and city centres by including a combination of shops, bars, restaurants and leisure facilities, creating a more vibrant town, more demand and a place to spend time both in the day and during the evening.

The SG1 planning application for the Stevenage town centre regeneration has been submitted. Picture: Mace

The SG1 planning application for the Stevenage town centre regeneration has been submitted. Picture: Mace

But how will the regeneration reshape Stevenage? Partnerships have been signed with organisations including Mace, the firm that built the Shard and the London Eye, and Reef Estates to deliver the major, 20-year, £1bn programme that’s set to transform Stevenage.

Reef is currently redeveloping Queensway North while Mace – working in partnership with Ashe – has started work on the major upgrade of the Town Square in the past few months.

Mace is also delivering the single largest scheme – SG1 – which will transform the existing town centre, creating a new Garden Square, a new linear park at Southgate Park and a new boulevard in the centre of the town. Those behind the plans say The Hub is a key part of SG1 and will provide a shared space featuring a new library along with health, voluntary, council and other groups under one roof making services significantly more convenient.

Part of Queensway is under development, with contractors from Reef already on site in the former M&S unit and the adjacent buildings.

The redevelopment of Park Place, if given the go ahead, is set to kick-start the regeneration of Stevenage town centre.

SG1 from above – Picture: Park Place

Work is also under way to upgrade and relocate the existing bus station to meet 21st century needs.

The new interchange will provide bus users with a modern, heated, indoor waiting area and café, with significantly improved facilities, toilets, and live passenger information boards.

The relocation closer to the railway station combined with the introduction of new streets that are part of the SG1 development, will also aim to improve public transport links across Stevenage and beyond.

The redevelopment of Park Place, if given the go ahead, is set to kick-start the regeneration of Stevenage town centre.
SG1 Proposals

 

Stevenage Borough Council is set to submit planning permission for the new bus station, located in what is currently a car park south of the Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre, with hopes of opening it in 2021.

The existing bus station site will become a location for a new Garden Square in the heart of the town that will offer an attractive location relax and enjoy, with new cafes and places to eat and drink.

SG1 explained – the detail

The proposals for the SG1 project submitted by construction company Mace is set to cost £350 million and will come in a number of phases.

The redevelopment of Park Place, if given the go ahead, is set to kick-start the regeneration of Stevenage town centre.
The redevelopment of Park Place

 

The large development – which will be financed by private funding and land sales – is due to begin its first phase this year, subject to planning permission.

If adopted, phase one will see the development of Swingate House and car park – the opposite Westgate multi-storey – the old police bullding and social services, which are currently derelict, and adjacent garages.

It will also see 760 new homes with a new Southgate Park.

The second phase, which will begin in approximately 2023, will see the development of the new Garden Square, located where the current bus station is.

Stevenage Borough Council has plans to move the bus station to a site south of the Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre, with hopes of completion by 2021 – subject to planning.

Phase three and four – set for 2024 and 2027 respectively – will include the development of the new public services hub and two new residential blocks and the demolition of the Plaza, council office, Mecca Bingo. The current library and ear clinic will be developed into 750 new homes.

Councillor Sharon Taylor, leader of Stevenage Borough Council, said: “It is crucial that we adapt and improve Stevenage to help make the town centre a place for us all to enjoy.

“I am proud of the heritage of the town and looking forward to a bright future.”

Computer-generated images of what the new development will look like. Picture: Reef Group.
Computer-generated images of what the new development will look like. Picture: Reef Group.

 

For more on the developments go to www.stevenage-even-better.com, or visit the Visitor Centre, which is open in the Town Square, from Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.

Consultations will continue to take place as planning proposals are brought forward, so that residents can have their say on the plans.

https://www.thecomet.net/news/stevenage-regeneration-what-s-happened-so-far-1-6466110

Why we are celebrating New Town heritage

Local Government Chronicle
Chris Barnes
8 January 2020

Stevenage was developed as the first New Town in the UK in 1946. It promised much: to provide homes, to pull people out of the slums of war-ravaged London and to offer a ­better quality of life.

More than 60 years later the town is still driving forward as home to major international firms like Airbus, MBDA and GSK. It’s also benefiting from a £1bn regeneration scheme, the largest of its type in the east of England, which is designed to reimagine the town and transform it into a place where people can live, work, play and relax. It aims to make use of some of the town’s famous New Town architectural heritage.

Decades ago, Leonard Vincent, Stevenage Development Corporation’s chief architect and planner, described the town like this: “Around the square and central pedestrian way the buildings are constructed with a pre-cast reinforced concrete frame and clad in steel, glass, stone, exposed stone aggregate panels, mosaics, tiles and brick.”

Ageing concrete

The concrete-dominated approach was once seen as cutting-edge, but in recent decades that’s not been the case, and as the first New Town, the majority of central spaces and amenities were built at the same time, meaning they’ve aged similarly, leaving buildings and streets feeling tired and in need of investment. Stevenage is also not immune from the wider challenges affecting town centres.

“We’ll be following the principle of less is more, aiming for minimal ‘street clutter’ with uniform materials and colour palettes”

The single biggest scheme in the 20-year regeneration project is being led by Mace in partnership with Stevenage BC. Called SG1, the £350m project will include the creation of 11 new buildings, five new, distinct character areas and a series of streets and thoroughfares designed to improve connectivity and accessibility across the town. There will be a shared facility containing health, voluntary, charity and council services.

Although this may seem like a traditional regeneration programme, in Stevenage – as always – we’re doing things slightly differently. As well as improving facilities for residents, we’re also placing a major focus on architecture, and making the most of our status as the first New Town.

Reinvigorated heritage

While Stevenage’s distinct architecture and design may not be to everyone’s taste, it is iconic and not something that should be cast aside. Rather than making a clean break from the heritage that has put Stevenage on the map, we’re reinvigorating it, restoring traditional buildings with a modern flourish.

Stevenage-3-300x200.pngThe decision to continue to follow the architectural heritage of the original New Town has been deeply embedded into the earliest inception of the Stevenage Central Framework upon which all regeneration programmes are based. These principles have fed into designs for our campaigns and can be seen clearly in the images our developers have produced and the schemes currently under way. The creation of this plan then led to the development of a local plan which outlined the value of this approach.

The local plan and associated framework had some challenges, including conservation areas and listed structures in central spaces that have proved, in some cases, to be a difficult obstacle to overcome.

We have heeded the guidance of groups like Historic England and are working with them to find a solution that maximises the potential of our central spaces while recognising the importance of these protected structures and entities.

The designs for the next stage of the town are not quite as starkly geometric as those Leonard Vincent described, but the new developments – particularly in the town square – take advantage of the existing structures and frontages. The new paving, being installed this autumn as one of the first stages of the project, will align with these initial designs.

Less is more – again

Our new layout will express characteristic modern principles and will establish the function of the area through a minimal approach to design aimed at facilitating public life. As in the last century we’ll be following the principle of less is more, aiming for minimal ‘street clutter’ with uniform materials and colour palettes being used to accent the dark tiling that currently surrounds some of our key ­features like the fountain, clock tower and iconic ‘Joyride’ statue that have been a part of the town for decades.

Stevenage-300x200.jpgThe developments will feature more rectangular and square shapes, following and echoing the initial style of the New Town, along with landscaping and artwork enabling a functional design of asymmetrical composition that’s typical of Modernist town centres.

We’re working with the brands and outlets here to ensure that any additional work that is carried out by private tenants also follows the style we have agreed, and the designs we have proposed clearly echo the initial Brutalist style. Looking further down the line, we’re also looking to feed in some of the artistic heritage of the town by including work from artists like ­Franka Belsky, Henry Moore and Piet Mondrian, whose work formed a key part of the early development of the town centre.

“A quarter of the satellites currently ­orbiting Earth were built at Stevenage’s Airbus facility”

Initial discussions mooted positioning Stevenage as a tourist destination. While this may seem like a distant dream, it is not that far from reality. The town is the first ­example of New Town architecture and has plenty to boast about, not least that more than a quarter of the satellites currently ­orbiting Earth were built at its Airbus facility. However, in the shorter term the central focus is to transform Stevenage into a place where people once again want to live, work and enjoy.

Popular appeal

The strategy of celebrating the heritage of the New Town has, to date, been a popular one and we’ve received strong commitments from businesses and retailers based here which have welcomed plans to increase footfall, regenerate the town and provide a better platform for further investment. There has, of course, been a degree of scepticism, as there is with any major campaign like this, and particularly in a town where regeneration has been promised before. However, the vast majority of residents and businesses have been very positive, and more than 3,000 people have come to the visitor centre we set up to communicate the changes.

Stevenage holds an important position both as the first New Town and at a wider, national level, and we must celebrate what makes our town unique, and be proud of the place we live and work in.

Why we are celebrating New Town heritage in our £1bn regeneration scheme

 

 

BBC Look East came to town on 13 January 2020 to discuss the ongoing work on the Town Square and our wider plans for SG1 – take a look at the footage and let us know your thoughts

Stevenage mixes it up the Grimsey way

Estates Gazette – Stevenage mixes it up the Grimsey Way
Sharon Taylor
18 October 2019

If you listen to external commentators, Stevenage hasn’t always enjoyed the most positive reputation. However, those inside the town sometimes find that surprising. After all, we’re home to major, international, sector-leading businesses, Green Flag-listed parks, scientific innovation and much more. In truth, negativity about Stevenage is largely unfair and misplaced.

But it would be remiss to ignore that some areas of our town need a little bit of love. Stevenage was the UK’s first new town, built more or less all at once, with the result that everything has aged at the same time, leaving the central spaces requiring investment. The masterplan for Stevenage meant that the town centre was designed as a traditional 9 to 5 shopping precinct, with limited homes, restaurants and bars within the area itself. That is now seen as an outdated approach.

As a progressive council we are looking to the future. In conjunction with partners including Mace, Reef Estates, the Local Enterprise Partnership, Herts County Council and more, we have launched a 20-year, £1bn regeneration programme designed to transform the town’s central spaces and reimagine what it can offer to residents and visitors both now and in the future.

There is an interesting synergy between the vision for Stevenage and the findings from the 2015 Grimsey Review, and we aim to make Stevenage a place where people want to live, work, play and relax.

As we all now know, Grimsey’s study outlined that retail-only town centres are a thing of the past. Nationally over 150,000 retail jobs were lost in 2018, and a further 164,000 are expected to go this year.

This isn’t solely a Stevenage issue, but as the UK’s first pedestrianised town centre, this is a significant concern for us. Any visitors to Stevenage will know that its central spaces are dominated by retail provision. In our town the main assets are segmented and often require additional transportation to move from site to site. The majority of leisure uses are found in the retail park adjacent to the railway station which leaves the town centre empty after 5pm.

Grimsey highlighted that towns must instead look to mixed-use regeneration in order to drive footfall, further investment and, ultimately, to survive. Following these principles has meant we are moving away from a strictly retail model and are working with Mace and Reef, among others, to introduce new food and beverage, residential, leisure and commercial facilities into our central spaces.

We’re keeping the key components of our town, while bringing in new opportunities and facilities, with developments also aligned to our new cultural strategy. While development is only just under way, we’ve already had interest from a diverse range of brands looking to move into an area set for the largest regeneration in the East of England, and that’s just for the spaces that are already available.

Another key aspect of the review, particularly in the Mace-led SG1 scheme, is the focus on placemaking.

While Stevenage in its current form does provide a range of public spaces, our offer is inefficient and needs improvement. Currently, public services are split across six separate buildings, which creates six sets of heating, electric and water bills as well as various other costs. SG1 will deliver a solution by creating a shared public and voluntary services hub that will include charities, a library, job centre, café, council offices and more under one roof in order to lower costs and create flexible public spaces that contribute to a more vibrant look and feel in the area.

This part of our vision has been supported by the country-wide programme ‘One Public Estate’, and underpins the way in which the public sector is moving.

Stevenage is undergoing major change. No other town is launching such a significant and ambitious regeneration programme, but then again no town is quite like Stevenage. We want our town to have the reputation it deserves. We want to be known for our incredible green spaces and world-class employers. The regeneration of the town centre will be a challenging and long-term process but, as Grimsey said, “if it was that simple then people would have done it already”.

Sharon Taylor is leader of Stevenage Borough Council

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Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst chosen as Opportunity Zone

Local Enterprise Partnership – Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst chosen as Life Sciences Opportunity Zone
8 October 2019

Nadhim Zahawi MP has announced that Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC) has been successful in its application to become a Life Sciences Opportunity Zone.

The assessment panel consisted of senior industry life science experts and senior government officials. In a letter to Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst Chief Executive Officer Dr Sally Ann Forsyth, the Minister stated: “l am delighted to tell you that your application has been successful. The panel were impressed by your plans to grow what is already a successful biomedical campus.”

The Minister made the formal announcement at Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Annual Conference on Monday 7th October, addressing 200 delegates. The audience heard how GlaxoSmithKline, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult and SBC have built a world-class cluster in advanced therapies on the Campus that is delivering a positive impact on UK plc and global healthcare.

With both SBC and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult’s first large scale manufacturing centre on the Campus, companies can benefit from close proximity to research, development and manufacturing. This unique co-location has been a key driver of growth in this revolutionary therapy area. Occupiers of the SBC Campus have raised almost £1bn of investment, of which over 60% has been invested into cell and gene therapy companies.

Dr Sally Ann Forsyth, Chief Executive Officer at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, commented: “We are delighted to receive Life Sciences Opportunity Zone designation for the Stevenage Advanced Therapeutics Campus. I would like to thank our supporting partners in the successful bid, namely GlaxoSmithKline, Cell & Gene Therapy Catapult, LifeArc, Kadans Science Partner, University of Hertfordshire, Royal Veterinary College and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. I look forward to working together to accelerate the growth of this globally recognised cluster for advanced therapeutics.”

Paul Witcombe, Head of Enterprise and Innovation, Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst has made a huge contribution to the rapid clustering of world-class corporate and academic research excellence on the GSK Campus at Stevenage. By awarding it opportunity zone status, SBC can strengthen the UK’s sectorial advantage and Hertfordshire’s position within the Oxford-London-Cambridge golden research triangle.”

Dr Stephen Ward, Chief Manufacturing Officer, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, stated: “The global uniqueness of having research, development and manufacturing closely connected within the campus and its surrounding geography is a key driver for growth and needs to be capitalised upon to ensure the economic and health benefits can be fully realised for the UK.”

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is one of six Life Sciences Opportunity Zones that will connect together to promote the sector on an international stage.

In the second Life Sciences Sector Deal, the government committed to take action to help areas with clear life sciences strengths to grow. Life Sciences Opportunity Zones (LSOZ) are a key part of this and will promote life science parks to potential investors. They highlight the opportunities of the area, such as vacant lab space, land to build new facilities, or links with higher education, amongst others. This helps to deliver the recommendation of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy for government to support the growth of life sciences clusters.

In its emerging Local Industrial Strategy, Hertfordshire LEP recognises the importance of this sector to the local and UK economy. Over the past decade, it states, the county has excelled in growing a cell and gene cluster which is of global significance. “This must flourish with synergistic links to London and Cambridge…there is a particular concentration on which to build along a “science corridor” along the A1(M) – from Hatfield through Stevenage towards the north Hertfordshire towns.”

https://www.hertfordshirelep.com/news-events/news/business-and-industry-minister-announces-stevenage-bioscience-catalyst-as-one-of-six-new-life-sciences-opportunity-zones-in-uk/

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Stevenage regeneration set for £25m windfall

The Comet – Stevenage regeneration set for £25m windfall
Georgia Barrow
12 September 2019

Stevenage has been selected as one of 100 town centres to receive government funding to help develop regeneration plans – and the windfall could be up to £25 million.

The town centre regeneration is already under way, and has now been guaranteed a slice of the government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund which is designed to support towns to “build prosperous futures”.

Leader of the council Sharon Taylor said: “The government’s move to include Stevenage in its new Towns Fund is a step in the right direction.

“We have been making great progress with the regeneration of Stevenage town centre, with investment into public realm, kickstarting the regeneration of Queensway, and commencing a major redevelopment partnership with Mace.

“We have worked closely with local partners and businesses to drive the regeneration of the town and will continue to work together to make this revitalisation of the town a success.

“We are proud that our work has been recognised and will encourage government to work at pace to support our regeneration plans.”

Selected town centres include places with industrial and economic heritage, but may not have always benefitted from economic growth in the same way as more prosperous areas.

Communities, businesses and local leaders will now join forces to draw up ambitious plans to transform their town’s economic growth prospects with a focus on improved transport, broadband connectivity, skills and culture.

Local government secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Ensuring that prosperity and opportunities are available to everyone in this country, not just those in London or our biggest cities, is at the heart of the mission of this government.

“We want to level-up our great towns, raising living standards and ensuring they can thrive with transformative investment in transport, technology, skills and culture.
”I will now work with local people from the 100 communities announced to agree proposals to invest up to £25 million in each place.

“I hope these deals will provide the investment and the impetus for long-term renewal ensuring each town can look to the future with a new optimism.”

https://www.thecomet.net/news/stevenage-town-fund-regeneration-1-6262773

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