Work has begun this week at Hartpury’s agricultural campus and commercial farm to create a new kind of workspace which will also offer bespoke business support packages to support the growth of agri-tech businesses in Gloucestershire.
The construction of a £2 million ‘Digital Innovation Farm Tech Box Park’ will see Hartpury further develop its 360-hectare campus and expand its agriculture facilities to meet the global demand for new technology in farming.
Russell Marchant, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Hartpury University and Hartpury College, joined David Owen – Chief Executive of GFirst LEP, Mark Price – MD of Vitruvius Management Services and Ben Treleaven – MD of container conversion specialists ISOSpaces the traditional ‘breaking ground’ ceremony to mark the start of construction on campus.
Russell Marchant, Vice-Chancellor of Hartpury University and Principal of Hartpury College, said: “This facility will combine our agricultural campus, commercial farm and strong industry connections with agri-technology companies to address the inevitable challenges of a digitally driven future.”
Designed and manufactured by ISO Spaces, a total of five 16ft x 40ft High-Cube Tech Box units are being constructed using repurposed shipping containers clad in cedar wood with funding support from GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership Getting Building Fund, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Elizabeth Creak Charitable Trust
David Owen, Chief Executive of GFirst LEP, Gloucestershire’s Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The project has received funding of £1.25m from the ‘Getting Building Fund’ to create new innovation and demonstration workspace for high growth SMEs in Gloucestershire.”
The new Tech Box Park is due to open later this year, with Hartpury appointing Project Lead, Vitruvius Management Services who have supported them from conception through to successes in gaining funding and at the planning stage – and will manage the project through construction to handover.
Mark Price, Managing Director of Vitruvius Management Services, added: “I am thrilled that this pioneering facility is finally breaking ground and will provide an innovative space for Gloucestershire’s SMEs to explore, test, research and develop new products.”