Improvements to Market Square to begin in the Summer

As part of a series of public realm improvement works will begin later this year on Market Square in Stevenage town centre.

The council is making changes to Market Square to make this area more attractive, safer for pedestrians who use this route, and offer greater visibility to the entrances of the Market and St George’s Car Park.

The council will be installing a new and improved footpath with a raised pedestrian crossing, improved lighting and introducing greenery, which will improve and brighten the area, creating a safer and visually improved crossing, whilst still providing designated loading bays for businesses who require deliveries and collections. Pedestrian safety is a priority and these works will create easy pedestrian movement and aid those with mobility issues. Two loading bays will be relocated, and there will be no loss of blue badge parking.

In addition, and in keeping with underpass artworks already displayed or underway within the town, two large scale urban artworks will be introduced to add colour and vibrancy to the area. Hertfordshire based artists MurWalls are working on designs to reflect the area.

Cllr Richard Henry, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, comments: “This area is frequently used by pedestrians, including those visiting our much loved Indoor Market.  The space needs an upgrade, and by delivering these changes, we are ensuring that it remains safe, more easily accessible and ties into the fabric of the surrounding areas with bright, colourful artworks. We have worked closely with surrounding businesses, including within the Indoor Market, and will continue to work in collaboration whilst these works are delivered”.

The project is being funded by the Stevenage Development Board through national government’s Towns Fund, of which Stevenage received £37.5m in March 2021.

Chair of the Stevenage Development Board Adrian Hawkins OBE added: “The Stevenage Development Board with its successful Towns Fund bid is working to strategically improve facilities for the public and businesses in the town and ensuring that the Government funding is fully utilised in the most appropriate areas to provide maximum benefit for all parties.”

A new Sports & Leisure Centre for Stevenage: Your Feedback

Stevenage Borough Council recently asked local communities to share their views on a proposed new Sports & Leisure Centre for Stevenage. The proposed new facility will bring together all under one roof the sports and swimming facilities, currently provided at Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, and Stevenage Swimming Centre.

We asked residents, businesses and visitors to complete a short survey to help us better understand what’s important. Over 400 responses were received and this feedback, of which the headlines can be found below, will help us to begin to shape a new state of the art building for Stevenage, promoting healthy living and wellbeing for residents.

Most of you told us that a modern building with sports, wellbeing and swimming under one roof would encourage you to use the facilities, which you would like to see in an accessible location with safe access for pedestrians. There needs to be adequate parking, including blue badge spaces, alongside cycle parking and cycle storage.

There should be improved changing facilities and a café provided. Spaces for groups and classes is a must, as is the need for spaces for indoor sports and leisure. There needs to be a schedule of events and activities for people of all ages and abilities.

The swimming pool should allow space for lane swimming alongside lessons and swimming clubs. The water should be deep with provision for interactive water play and a spectator area for the pool. Wellbeing is a key focus of this proposed upgraded offering for the town, and some of you asked for a spa alongside provision for mental health and mindfulness activities.

Many of you have further questions around the facility. This is a facility for the local community and this survey is the start of a process to work together on a building with something for everyone. We will now work with a design team on the next stages and will share further information in due course, including around the future opportunities for the community to comment.

Cllr Richard Henry, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, commented: “My thanks go to everyone who completed our recent survey. Feedback is invaluable as we work with our communities on this proposed new facility and continue to deliver the best for Stevenage. We know how well-used the current facilities are and this new building will increase the user experience, future proofing these services for increased usage and modern living. Our teams are working hard to meet as many of your needs as possible, and we look forward to providing an update in due course”.

The project will be partially funded through the Government’s Towns Fund. The Stevenage Development Board secured £37.5m in March 2021, and a proportion of this will be used for this new facility.

Adrian Hawkins OBE, Chair of the Stevenage Development Board, commented: “We have been delighted that more than 400 people have taken the time and the trouble to take part in our recent survey which centred on providing a new Sports and Leisure Centre for Stevenage.

“The insight gained has of course proved invaluable, but just as importantly it has shown that the people of this town view our regeneration scheme as a key part not just of their futures but that of their children’s as well.

“The remarkable technology sector and our advances in STEM can only come to fruition if we are also able to underpin and develop our sporting heritage. Stevenage has become world famous for sporting men and women who have triumphed on the biggest stages and our commitment to a new Sports and Leisure facility shows that we take seriously all aspects of this development.”

Cllr Loraine Rossati, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Information Technology, said: “We have a vision for this new facility for the town, and we are committed to working with our communities to realise this. Collaboration is key, both with our residents and project partners, and I would also like to thank Everyone Active and Morgan Sindall as we work together to provide the best in class. We won’t be able to deliver everything, but by understanding what is most important to you, we can further explore the art of the possible and sharing the next stages of this proposal. There will be further opportunities to comment and we encourage everyone to have their say at the next available opportunity.”

Allan Prescott, Everyone Active contract manager, said: “We’re thrilled to see such positive feedback from the local community regarding the proposed new Sports & Leisure Centre for Stevenage. These headline findings reflect a clear desire for modern, accessible facilities that cater to the diverse needs of our residents. We’re excited about the potential of this state-of-the-art building to promote healthy living and wellbeing for all, and we look forward to working closely with Stevenage Borough Council to bring this vision to life.”

FAQs

Q: What will happen to the Gordon Craig Theatre?

The proposed new facility is focused on bringing together the sports and swimming facilities currently provided at Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, and Stevenage Swimming Centre. The theatre will not be moving to the new facility, and it will continue to operate as normal during the development and after the delivery of the new Sports & Leisure Centre.

Stevenage has a history of celebrating arts and culture and we are proud of the theatre and what it offers, and the council is committed to retaining a theatre within Stevenage Town Centre.

Q: What will happen to Bowes Lyon and the skatepark?

In November 2023, the council asked people to share their views on what they would like to see in a proposed new Sports & Leisure Centre for Stevenage. This survey marked the start of a process to work with the local community, and there will be plenty more opportunities for people to comment and have their say. Nothing has been approved – there is no planning application or decision – and the project is at a very early stage. No detailed design work has started.

Questions have been raised about a possible location for the proposed new facility, including the possible use of Bowes Lyon and the skatepark, both owned and managed by Hertfordshire County Council (HCC). Following discussions with HCC, we are now working up proposals that will not require the demolition of either of these facilities.

Community invited to vote on new urban artworks in Stevenage

In 2023, a partnership between Stevenage Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council saw three new pieces of urban artworks unveiled in Stevenage, at the underpass located by Stevenage FC and Wickes at the Broadhall Way roundabout.

As part of an ongoing programme of works, Stevenage Borough Council is asking the local community for their help as the next set of artworks – located at the Monkswood Way and Six Hills Way roundabout – enter their design phase.

Six themes, each with links to the town’s history and culture, have been identified. Yet only three can feature in the final designs, and help is needed to determine which of these will be used.

The council is asking the community and businesses to pick their three favourites through a survey which can be found https://forms.office.com/e/9ZiiWg7vzL.

The themes are:

1. Eric Claxton

An ode to the engineer who designed the 25-mile segregated cycle network in Stevenage in the 1960s and 70s.

2. Town Centre Gardens

Highlighting the nearby gardens that feature a pond, public art, a sensory garden, and ancient lane hedgerows.

3. William Mitchell

An ode to the world-renowned sculptor, artist and designer, whose art is already celebrated in Stevenage.

4. ‘Stevenage on wheels’

Promoting active travel through cycling, scooting, skating, and wheeling through Stevenage.

5. Stevenage Town Centre

Celebrating Stevenage becoming the first pedestrianised town centre in the UK in 1958.

6. Stevenage photographers

Sharing beautiful imagery of interest points in Stevenage taken by local amateur photographers.

Cllr Richard Henry, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, comments: “We were delighted with the reaction to the underpasses completed in 2023, and the sense of community pride that they have instilled. In collaboration with Hertfordshire County Council we want to make further improvements to the town’s underpasses and this next phase of works provides another opportunity to place our communities, achievements and assets in the centre of the town. This is a project for our communities and we encourage everyone to get involved to help us shape this next set of artworks for Stevenage!”.

Cllr Loraine Rossati, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Information Technology at Stevenage Borough Council, comments: “The artworks already in place, designed and painted by Hertfordshire-based street artists Murwalls, are a fantastic addition to Stevenage. Fresh, relevant and celebrating the town, they demonstrate how other underpasses in the town have the potential to look.  We want to work with our local communities to help shape the designs for this next set of artworks, and others in the future, and we are delighted to be able to announce this survey today. We look forward to seeing the results!”.

The survey closes at midday on Friday 8 March 2024.

The project is being funded by the Stevenage Development Board through national government’s Towns Fund, of which Stevenage received £37.5m in March 2021.

Chair of the Stevenage Development Board Adrian Hawkins OBE added: “The rich diversity of Stevenage in terms of technology, innovation, sport and history are clear to all in the town. I am delighted that the project to design uplifting murals in underpasses and other area have also been able to reflect this.

“Our town is undergoing a massive period of positive change and the opportunities for all are now tangible. Schemes such as the murals allow us all to visualise just what there is on offer in Stevenage and just what potential we have, not just in our town but also in our people.”

Stevenage Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council are working together to improve a number of underpasses throughout Stevenage, improving these for pedestrians and cyclists and celebrating everything that the town has to offer.

Cllr Phil Bibby, Cabinet Member for Highways & Transport at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “I am delighted that Hertfordshire County Council continues to partner Stevenage Borough Council in brightening up the town’s subways. We are working with local schools, communities and artists on many subways across the County to make them much more inviting, encouraging walking and cycling. This supports the Council’s aim to make Hertfordshire cleaner, greener and healthier.”

Railway North Car Park wins award

Stevenage’s Railway North car park, adjacent to Stevenage Railway Station, has been jointly awarded ‘Best New Car Park’ in a town or city at this year’s British Parking Awards.

The award recognises outstanding design and construction techniques that turn car parks into landmark structures. The car park must deliver an excellent driving and parking experience, alongside creating an attractive, safe and aesthetically pleasing environment that displays green thinking.

Opened in May 2023 with 622 spaces, including spaces for electric vehicle charging and blue badge parking, driver experience is at the heart of the car park. This includes no columns for ease of manoeuvring. The facility benefits from solar panels to aid sustainability.

Delivered by contractor HUBER car park systems UK Ltd, the car park received funding from the Government’s Towns Fund. Stevenage Development Board secured £37.5m, the second joint highest bid in the country. £1.1m was contributed as part of the multi-million pound Growth Deal funding secured by Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership for Stevenage regeneration.

The exterior is distinguishable due to its unique façade. The bold design marks the entrance to the town from the Railway Station, celebrating the achievements of Stevenage in the fields of science and technology alongside recognising the communities of the town.

The Railway North car park has recently also been awarded the Park Mark Plus award, the first car park in Hertfordshire to receive this. Park Mark Plus is a comprehensive assessment demonstrating the highest quality of today’s modern car parks in services, operations, design and build. The award of Park Mark Plus demonstrates that its facility provides police-approved accredited parking and has reached the standards of the Disabled Parking Accreditation and a range of environmental, structural, operational and customer services criteria.

Cllr Richard Henry, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, commented: “Receiving two awards for the multi-storey car park demonstrates our commitment to providing the best. This facility has been judged as being best in class and through its bold design marks not only the scientific milestones that have come from the town but also creates a real welcome to Stevenage. We are meeting the expectations of consumers in the modern day and providing for the future with a car park with experience and useability at its heart, which includes dedicated secure cycle parking. Both of these accreditations are fantastic and set the standard for partnership working across the town and county”.

Adrian Hawkins OBE, Chair of Stevenage Development Board and Chair of Hertfordshire LEP, commented: “Stevenage Development Board is delivering a visionary regeneration programme supported by a diverse range of stakeholders including the LEP, to transform the town into a vibrant and thriving STEM hub. We are raising the bar for town centre transformations by planning and delivering to the highest specification, and this award is a brilliant reflection of our shared commitment to excellence.”

Cllr Lloyd Briscoe, Executive Member for Economy and Transport at Stevenage Borough Council commented: “This facility provides an enhanced user experience, contributing to a sustainable travel hub which offers people choices as to how they can travel. We are strengthening what the town has to offer, enhancing the welcome to visitors, encouraging businesses to expand and supporting communities across Hertfordshire. I hope that people enjoy using an award winning car park which is safe, accessible and well-maintained”.

Markus Lauble, Managing Director, HUBER car park systems UK Ltd, added: “Right from the start of this project, we enjoyed a positive, open and transparent working partnership with Stevenage Borough Council, and are delighted that the end product proved to be an award-winning mobility hub we can all be extremely proud of.”

Multi-Storey Car Park adjacent to Stevenage Railway Station opens

The new multi-storey car park adjacent to Stevenage Railway Station is open. The car park is operational 24 hours a day and is a long stay car park.

The new car park provides 622 spaces, an increase from the previous car park that had 339 spaces. There are 30 blue badge spaces, as well as 30 spaces that are available for electric vehicle charging. There is CCTV in the building and cashless pay machines.

In addition to vehicles, there is secure parking for 80 bicycles in a dedicated, covered space adjacent to the car park. There is also space for three larger cycles. This facility is being run by Spokesafe.

A series of Frequently Asked Questions will provide you with information on the facility, including the cycle storage. Please see these below.

Q: What is the tallest vehicle that can enter?

A: The car park has a height restriction of 2.2 m. Vehicles over this height can park in the Railway South car park.

Q: How many electric vehicle points are there?

A: 30 spaces will be immediately available for use by electric cars. There are further car parking spaces that have the necessary infrastructure to be converted to electric vehicle spaces as the demand increases.

Q: How do you pay for electric vehicle charging?

A: Payment is taken through the Blink Charging – EB Go! app, using the same provider as at St George’s multi-storey car park, The Forum car park and on-street on Swingate.

Q: Will the charging points charge all electric vehicles?

A: The charging points will give a charge at up to 7kW via a type 2 socket which is compatible with almost all EVs on the market.

Q: Where are the blue badge spaces located?

A: The blue badge spaces are split across different levels, with most of the spaces at ground level. The car park has two lifts to allow movement between floors. The spaces are located as close as possible to the lifts.

Q: What hours will the lifts be in operation?

A: The lifts are in operation during train running times.

Q: Are there columns throughout the car park?

A: No, the car park contains no columns. This design creates more unobstructed space for individual cars and to allow ease of parking and manoeuvring.

Q: Where is the entrance and exit?

A: The entrance and exit to the car park is on Lytton Way, as it was with the former surface level car park. There are two entrance barriers and two exit barriers.

Q: Does the car park use chip coins like the others in the town?

A: No. The car park uses licence plate registration. This system calculates how long a car has been in the car park without the need for chip coins.

Q: How much does it cost to park?

A: The parking costs are available here: Parking (stevenage.gov.uk). Parking charges are reviewed for all car parks annually.

Q: How do I purchase a season ticket?

A: Information about purchasing a season ticket can be found on our website: Car Park Season Tickets (stevenage.gov.uk)

Q: I have been using a season ticket in another car park. Will it transfer across?

A: As long as the appropriate details have been provided to our car parks team, this will transfer across to the new car park.

Q: Where do taxis collect people from?

A: The taxi rank remains in its usual location and pick-ups and drop offs are not affected. You cannot pick up and drop off in the new car park site.

Q: Are the two-tier cycle stands remaining?

A: The two-tier cycle stands within the taxi rank location remain as they are.

SPOKESAFE SECURE CYCLE STORAGE

Q: What is Stevenage Railway North Secure Cycle Parking?

A: Stevenage Railway North Secure Cycle Parking provides a safe place for bikes to be left, in a secure storage facility operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are 80 spaces available, along with 3 spaces for larger bikes. The facility is covered to protect bikes from the elements.

Specialist operator Spokesafe will manage the storage through its purpose-built app.

Spokesafe provide cyclists with access to a network of secure places to park. The Stevenage facility accepts bikes only, with three spaces for larger cycles.

There is a repair stand available next to the storage.

Stevenage Railway North Secure Cycle Parking (spokesafe.com)

Q: Where is it located?

A: The secure cycle parking is located at the pedestrian entrance of the new multi-storey car park, which is opposite the bottom of the stairs as you exit the railway station towards the taxi rank.

Q: When is it open?

A: The cycle parking is now open. It will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round.

Q: How does it work?

A: Cyclists can gain access to the facility via the Spokesafe app, which you will need to sign up to. When you would like to park your bike, log into the app to request a code to gain entry to the building via a keypad. You should still bring a lock to secure your bike to the stand.

Q: What is the price?

A: Membership costs £10 a month or £1 per day for Pay As You Go bookings. Monthly memberships provide unlimited access to the facility.

Q: Where do you subscribe?

A: You can sign up at www.spokesafe.app. Please note this will require a form of photo ID to complete the registration. All members receive full access instructions once they have signed up.

Q: Do I get a reserved space?

A: Membership provides users with access to the facility and you are not allocated a reserved space. However, Spokesafe monitor usage levels closely and will pause taking on new members should the facility be regularly full.

Q: How long can I leave my bike in the facility for?

A: Bicycles can be left for up to 1 month. Bike dumping is something that Spokesafe monitor. When signing up you will add your bicycle to Spokesafe’s database, and the owners of any bikes which appear to be abandoned will be contacted. If Spokesafe do not hear back from you, the bike will be donated to charity.

Q: What happens if I need help accessing the facility?

A: For general enquiries & questions, please email hello@spokesafe.com.

Spokesafe operate a 24/7 emergency helpline where you can speak to a friendly member of their team straight away. The number is 020 3488 0060.

Stevenage Borough Council backs Town’s Fund projects

Stevenage Borough Council’s Executive approved recommendations through business cases for a new Garden Square , Stevenage Innovation & Technology Centre (SITEC) and Cycling & Pedestrian Connectivity and Heritage Trail on Friday 4 March 2022.  These three projects seek to bring together a range of arts, culture, leisure, food, community events, transport and learning facilities to the town centre and are about delivering high quality, rejuvenated places for local residents to enjoy.  The proposals also address the skills and training gap, creating opportunities for our young people and welcoming different sectors and audiences to the town centre as a part of Stevenage’s Town Investment Plan.

The Garden Square development (part of the SG1 scheme by Mace) brings forward a new high quality public square for leisure, food & drink, and community performances adjacent to Stevenage Town Square and seeks to transform the current bus station into a vibrant multi-purpose space.

Drawing on the principles of the Grimsey Review and the Stevenage Central Framework, these plans from our £37.5 million Town’s Fund (the second highest awarded in the country), seek to use leisure, culture, hospitality and an exciting events programme to create a vibrant town centre for all to enjoy.  Collectively these schemes will also help to create a diverse town centre economy, whilst utilising retail, leisure, culture and experience to attract footfall to ensure that new and existing businesses can thrive, and provide the amenities that residents, businesses and visitors need to make Stevenage a vibrant 21st century town.

The Stevenage Innovation and Technology Centre (SITEC) – a new purpose-built learning facility located in the heart of Stevenage town centre will help address the skills deficits that underpin the gap in employment and earnings, and is important in delivering an interface between Stevenage’s residents and the high-tech, high-value national and international businesses located in the town.

The SITEC will provide Level 3, 4 and 5 courses and act as a bridge between further and higher education, providing skilled local labour to local industries and showcase the town’s industries to inspire our young people.  Courses could offer specialisms in Engineering, Life sciences, Biotechnology, Digital and Computing Innovation and Advanced Construction Skills – all critical to the Stevenage area and the wider Hertfordshire and UK economy.

Cllr Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, said: “I am delighted to see the Garden Square proposals coming forward in the heart of the town centre and utilisation of empty town centre retail spaces to help create a better experience for our residents and visitors alike.”

“These plans will additionally help our businesses, with greater footfall and spending power within the town centre to support our local economy.”

“The SITEC is an important development, providing education, skills and training for better life chances for our young people, whilst capitalising on our unique heritage of technology, life sciences and pharma industries that have made Stevenage their home. Unlocking these opportunities by working with businesses and providing local young people with skills and employment is also a priority for us.”

“Stevenage is going through exciting transformation, and our residents sit at the heart of these ambitious plans. We are leading a period of change that will celebrate our legacy as the first post-war town, whilst creating a modern, diversified town centre offering something for everyone.  We look forward to delivering these ambitious plans together with the Stevenage Development Board and our private sector partners.”

The third proposal to be considered by the Stevenage Borough Council Executive is The Cycling & Pedestrian Connectivity and Heritage Trail, which includes the delivery of enhanced pedestrian and cycling infrastructure that will link between new developments in the town centre and other growth schemes our impressive 45km cycling network – increasing accessibility and levels of health and wellbeing through increased cycling and walking. The proposal also includes a heritage and arts trail that will connect with the public realm and provide opportunities to showcase the wide range of arts and culture assets that the town has to offer.

Adrian Hawkins OBE, the independent Chair of the Stevenage Development Board, said:  “The final three cases which are being recommended to the council’s executive represent the culmination of a very successful submission to government in 2021. This led to the securing of a £37.5m contribution as part of the Town’s Fund and I am proud to say that this is the second highest received anywhere in the country.

“As the first new town ever to be created in the UK, Stevenage is a post war vision of modern life and the need for this funding has arisen because some of this infrastructure requires enhancement and other aspects replacement, with services more representative of current times.

“The first of the final three business cases deals with cycling and heritage connectivity, everyone knows that our 45km of cycleway within the town was simply a visionary investment and that it connects our heritage for all to enjoy – it clearly is the future of our town.

“The second case supports the replacement of our vast 1950’s bus station with a remarkable collaboration, leading to the delivery of our new Garden Square and diversification of retail space – recognising absolutely that “the heart of a town lies in its people”.

“But it is my opinion that of all these excellent developments, it is SITEC which offers the biggest opportunity. There can be little doubt that agreement to this case means that we have the means to deliver social mobility by creating a radical change in people’s lives, creating local employment opportunities, supporting our local businesses, and providing higher incomes to those that wish to aspire to a better way of life.

“The town has seen the continued development of advanced manufacturing, life sciences, technology and pharmaceuticals with various employers already basing themselves within the Town. More will of course follow, and this means that in the next five to seven years we will see some 7,000 jobs created requiring level 3 qualifications and above. As a result, the need is clear for the Stevenage Innovation and Technology Centre (SITEC) and it will be launched to provide a clear focus and delivery of skills at this level and above.

“It is real world differences to people’s lives such as these, which I am most proud to be delivering as part of this regeneration of our town.”

These projects form part of the transformation of the Town Centre through the Town’s Fund and will be delivered by the Stevenage Development Board and Stevenage Borough Council, as part of the Stevenage Even Better £1bn regeneration programme.   Planning permission has been granted for a number of developments in the town to deliver new homes, jobs and transformation of our public spaces to create a vibrant destination.

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.”

£37.5m investment is ‘once in a generation’ opportunity

March 3
The Comet
Jacob Thorburn

 

More than £37 million worth of investment will be coming to help realise “radical and innovative” change in Stevenage, after the town successfully bid for its share of central government grant funds.

Stevenage Development Board, set up in 2020 to organise government funding through the MyTown initiative, has confirmed it has been awarded tens of millions in grant funding from central government.

After submitting a comprehensive bid and passing through a detailed government review, Adrian Hawkins OBE, chair of Stevenage Development Board, announced the town had been awarded £37.5 million.

The successful bid aimed to boost the growth of businesses in Stevenage which have a national and international base. The heritage of the UK’s inaugural new town was also a key focus and it will now offer the chance to reflect on and reinterpret this for future generations.

Mr Hawkins said: “Our vision was ambitious, our plan clearly deliverable, and the message was simple: Investing this money in the future of Stevenage is an investment in the future of our country, of our children, and will unleash more than £600m of private investment to supercharge UK businesses, as we once again unify in a time of great national need and set a new blueprint for innovation.

“I am delighted to announce this, not least because Stevenage is the town where I grew up in a council house, the town which gave me the chance to build my own business and a place which I hold so dear.

“This will now see not just an investment in buildings and infrastructure, but an investment in the people, to improve their lives and to boost their skills to enable them to engage with local employers and local employment.

“It is urgent that we now consider how we accommodate, expand and deliver skills to our important science-based industries in the Town and ensure that they have the environment to develop, expand and employ locally. The businesses and sectors located in Stevenage are competing on a global level, and their success is intrinsically linked to our national economy – our residents simply cannot and will not be left behind.”

Projects which have been submitted relate to a number of key areas including connectivity, arts and culture, regeneration and land use and skills and enterprise.

The successful bid aimed to boost the growth of businesses in Stevenage which have a national and international base. Heritage of the first New Town was also a key focus and it will now offer the chance to reflect on and reinterpret this for future generations

Cllr Sharon Taylor OBE, leader of Stevenage Borough Council, commented: “We have an unprecedented opportunity, a once in a generation moment to re-vitalise the town and provide outstanding opportunities for local people and businesses.

“Proposals that will create jobs, a thriving heart of the town, support the growth of world class businesses and boost the national economy. A unique chance to accelerate the regeneration of the town centre, providing vibrancy and places for people to enjoy.

“The plan will build resilience for Stevenage in the face of the threats presented by COVID-19 and recession, by providing creative employment and upskilling for local people.

“We have a united, broad and strong partnership, pride in our heritage, determination to make regeneration happen, and the passion to deliver a pioneering future.”

Mark Bretton, chair of Hertfordshire LEP and the LEP Network, commented: “As the UK’s first new town, Stevenage holds the legacy of Hertfordshire’s pioneering spirit.

“There has never before been such a strong collective determination to build on this proud heritage and rejuvenate the town for the 21st century.”

David Williams, leader at Hertfordshire County Council and chair of Hertfordshire Growth Board, added: “This Town Deal Investment Plan will accelerate Stevenage’s game changing regeneration strategy.

“Stevenage’s clear sighted ambition to evolve from pioneer post war new town to a 21st century national hub for science, technology and advanced manufacturing excellence will be delivered faster and with greater certainty.

“Hertfordshire County Council shares the ambition for Stevenage to exceed its potential and has supported this endeavour as an active partner from the start.”

Read the story in full here – https://www.thecomet.net/news/business/stevenage-awarded-millions-in-regeneration-planning-investment-fund-7804158

You can see the Executive Summary of the Town Investment Plan here

New chairman set to drive transformation of Stevenage forward

The Comet
September 3 2020
Louise McEvoy

The board responsible for driving forward transformation in Stevenage has appointed a new chairman

Adrian Hawkins, former deputy chairman of the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, is now chairman of the Stevenage Development Board, established in March to deploy government funding allocated through the Town Investment Fund.

Stevenage is one of 101 towns to receive up to £25m, with residents able to help decide how it is spent.

The board aims to set out a Town Investment Plan that reflects the ambitions of people in Stevenage.

Adrian said: “One of my key aims is to ensure this is a regeneration delivered for and by the people of this town.”

To provide views and feedback on how the funding should be spent, visit Stevenage-Even-Better.com/my-town

Further information about the ongoing 20-year, £1bn regeneration programme currently underway in Stevenage  can be found at www.Stevenage-Even-Better.com 

https://www.thecomet.net/news/new-chairman-of-stevenage-development-board-1-6821306