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Issue - meetings

Porton Science Park - Collaborative Innovation Centre

Meeting: 05/01/2021 - Cabinet (Item 8)

8 Porton Science Park - Collaborative Innovation Centre

      Report of the Chief Executive.

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of the Council and Cabinet member for Economic Development, MCI and Communications introduced the report which provided an update about (i) increased costs of delivery of the Innovation Centre; (ii) revenue projection for the Centre’s initial years of operation; and (iii) entering funding agreements with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP).

 

Cllr Whitehead explained that the project is now at a stage where the Council can enter into contract with MHCLG, and delegated authority is being sought to sign the Funding Agreement for the European Funding. He reported that although the overall costs for the preferred option had increased, work with the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership and securing other funding would cover the costs.  It was noted that the breakeven point for the centre remains at year six assuming an occupancy rate of 70% is reached within three years of opening.

 

Cllr Stuart Wheeler, Chair and Cllr Bob Jones MBE, Vice-Chair of the Environment Select Committee reported that they had received a briefing on 17 December 2020 and expressed their support for the proposals. The proposals also received wide ranging support from Councillors.

 

 

Resolved:

1.    To delegate authority to the Director of Housing and Commercial Development; to enter into a Funding Agreement with MHCLG for the ERDF £2.5m grant funding.

 

2.    To delegate authority to the Director of Housing and Commercial Development; to enter into a Funding Agreement with the SWLEP for the GBF £2m grant funding.

 

3.    To note the adjusted revenue profile in light of changes to the level and type of lettable space in the revised building design.

 

Reason for Decision:

·       To ensure the Council can drawdown European match funding for the project, before the ERDF programme finishes

·       To ensure the Council can secure additional funding to cover the building costs, meet environmental requirements and provide for project risk

·       To offer flexible space for meetings and a collaborative laboratory space supported by existing ultrafast broadband provision, as well as creative and recreational space to support networking at the new centre

·       To progress delivery of Porton Science Park, in partnership with SWLEP, MHCLG and campus partners Dstl and PHE.

 


 

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