Skylon Park’s Shell Store could welcome its first tenants as soon as January as the transformed building looks to support start-ups and growing companies looking for dynamic business space.
Hereford Enterprise Zone has opened the doors for the first time for businesses to view the offices and conference space at the Shell Store, which has undergone a £7.3 redevelopment to become an incubation hub.
Civic and business leaders also toured the building, including representatives from Herefordshire Business Board, and the funding partners behind the project Herefordshire Council and the Marches LEP.
Andrew Manning Cox, Chair of the Hereford Enterprise Zone, said the building would go through a phased occupation, with the first tenants hopefully arriving by the end of the year.
“We have been delighted by the number of enquiries already received by both start-up and growing enterprises looking to locate their companies at the heart of Skylon Park, which has developed into one of the best business locations in the Midlands.
“Although we know that many businesses are operating from home where they can, this can be difficult for many companies which are not fully established, or which need to operate from a professional space. It is really important that we nurture the businesses using this incubation hub, they will be our large employers of the future.”
Cllr David Hitchiner, Leader of Herefordshire Council, said: “It has been a pleasure seeing the redevelopment of the historic Shell Store take shape. The £7.3m incubation and research centre will become home to many vibrant, exciting businesses over the coming months, inspiring economic growth and creating the county’s high-skilled jobs of the future, helping to further establish Herefordshire as a hub of business, engineering and technological expertise.
“Seeing the doors opened for the first time to allow businesses to view the office and conference space filled me with amazement and a sense of pride. The scheme represents some of the council’s key aspirations: Growth for the future, with respect and appreciation for our history, founded on the principles of sustainability and local innovation.”
Mandy Thorn MBE, Chair of the Marches LEP, added: “It was fantastic to see this amazing building and join Andrew and David to see the facilities which will be on offer to businesses in 2021. We have supported this building through a £2.4m loan from the Marches Investment Fund, which aims to bring projects to fruition which will boost economic and business growth and create jobs.”
The Shell Store, which is not a listed building, was built in the First World War and used as an ordnance site during the Second World War. The redevelopment project has seen much of the commercial space created within the existing building footprint, retaining much of the original factory, including its steel roof structure.
The project team was led by Mace, working with Quattro Architects, ONE Creative Environments and main contractor, Barnwood Construction.
Facilities include 1,000 sq m of business incubation and development workspace, 500 sq m of offices for rent, conference, seminar and flexible meeting and hot-desking space with an onsite cafe.
Prospective tenants interested in office space at the Shell Store should contact email@example.com