WORK is well under way at Plymouth's new £7million digital hub building.
The Phase Five block at Plymouth Science Park is scheduled to open in the autumn of 2016 and the steel skeleton is now taking shape.
A joint venture between Plymouth Science Park, Plymouth City Council and Plymouth University, the project is a combined approach to growing high-end businesses in the technology, digital and IT sectors.
The facility has the potential to create up to 190 jobs.
Already, leading marketing technology company Intelligent Optimisations has announced it is to move into the hub – creating 45 jobs.
Intelligent Optimisations (IO) is a state-of-the art web based tool to help marketers identify key audiences on a large scale. IO's True Prospecting solution offers marketers an intelligent model which helps gain new customers based on getting insights into consumers' habits during real time.
The system also continually optimises and converts to give a greater return on investment.
"It's an exciting venue which allows us all important room for growth but also provides an environment which matches the aspirations of our business and puts us in the frame with other exciting companies," said IO's CEO Tom Bowman.
Christian Jenkins, director of operations for Plymouth Science Park, said: "We are looking forward to IO joining our community, they are our type of business who share our aspirations to grow and be the best and we are delighted they have chosen to partner with PSP to achieve their goals"
Architecture firm HLM, based at Royal William Yard, is the lead consultant for Phase Five and its services for this project include architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture.
To be known as One Research Way, the development will consist of a high quality, Grade A office building, providing 11 business units ranging from 80 to 248sq metres.
There will be ancillary core accommodation and shared breakout facilities to encourage the users to mix and interact within the building's central space, which will function on a 24/7 basis; enabling freedom and flexibility of working hours as the needs of businesses may dictate.
Ajay Sharma, HLM director – Plymouth office, said: "This building has been designed by HLM to be a prominent new addition to Plymouth Science Park.
"HLM brings a number of different elements to the project, including Building Information Modelling (BIM) which was utilised in the design process for the science park."
HLM passed its BIM audit at the beginning of this year, joining only a handful of businesses who have the prestigious BIM certification ahead of the Government's April 2016 deadline for public sector project compliance.
Mr Sharma said: "BIM Level 2 is essential for the future development of the built environment and we have used 3D software throughout the design development process for the Plymouth Science Park.
"This enabled the client to fully visualise the exciting design, both internally, and externally using software via free download."
BAM Construction is the contractor for the project and construction director Graham Kingdon said: "Having created many different buildings in Plymouth, it's a place we love to work, and the science park is a fantastic development for the whole city and beyond.
"It is also great to work with progressive and collaborative partners which is what makes the real difference in our increasingly technological industry."
Tudor Evans, leader of Plymouth City Council, said: "This is just the sort of company that we had hoped would be attracted to the Science Park when we made the investment.
"The Science Park is growing fast and is shining a light on the many talents of the city. There is still office space available at this site and we really hope to attract other companies of a similar caliber, and the Science Park is also in a fantastic location."
Professor Simon Payne, deputy vice-chancellor of Plymouth University, said: "As a founding partner of Plymouth Science Park, we are thrilled to see Intelligent Optimisations become the first tenants of this exciting new development at One Research Way.
"Plymouth University has previously worked closely with IO to support the growth of this dynamic high tech company, and in 2014, the GAIN Growth Fund managed by the university supported IO with a grant of £250,000 to help fund a £4million growth plan which created 42 new jobs. It is very rewarding to see that ongoing growth now leading to the company moving into the Science Park to further expand its operations locally, creating more highly skilled jobs for the region."
Chris Garcia, Chief Executive of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP) added: "Plymouth Science Park is one of the key projects funded by the Heart of the South West Growth Deal which is part of a package of investment approaching half-a-billion pounds for transformational projects delivering economic benefit for the whole of the HotSW area.
"We are very pleased to welcome Intelligent Optimisations as the first tenants – they are a rapidly expanding company in the technology industry which is a strong sector for growth in the Heart of the South West.
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