A milestone in the £7.3m scheme to transform Hereford’s Shell Store into a business incubation and innovation centre has been marked with an official visit from leaders of two organisations involved in the landmark project.
The Leader of Herefordshire Council, Councillor David Hitchiner, and Andrew Manning Cox, the Chairman of the Hereford Enterprise Zone, were on site at Skylon Park on October 14 to see how work has progressed since it began in April.
The derelict building, which was built during the First World War and was also used as an ordnance site during the Second World War, is being renovated to create more than 2,000 sq metres of employment space for new and growing businesses and facilities for development and innovation.
The pair were given a tour of the work to date that has included stripping off the existing wood and glass roof and removing the building walls to expose the steel frame; checking the steel frame for defects and corrosion; replacing corroded steels and rust treating and spray painting; and undertaking ground works to install drainage, landscaping and foundations for car parking.
The Shell Store, which is being developed by Barnwood Construction, is due for completion in late Spring 2020. The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Herefordshire Council and a loan from the Marches LEP’s Marches Investment Fund is funding the project.
Chairman of the Hereford Enterprise Zone, Andrew Manning Cox, said: “It was fascinating to see the great progress that has been made on the conversion of the Shell Store to date. The steel frame was in remarkably good condition, which has given an excellent base for the new facility.
“Once complete the Shell Store will provide much needed employment space for up to 25 dynamic and innovative businesses that will support economic growth in Herefordshire and play an important role in the thriving business community on Skylon Park.”
Cllr David Hitchiner, Leader of Herefordshire Council, commented: “I hope that the renovated structure will be an inspiration to those who come to work in a building which was designed and built over 100 years ago, and has survived to have a new life as a modern, purpose-built business incubation space. The building is truly impressive and promises to benefit new and young enterprises with the facilities and expertise to succeed, helping build local skills and create jobs.
“It’s a council priority to support the growth of the local economy in Herefordshire. By enabling businesses to develop and thrive we can attract further investment in jobs, education and skills, and enhance the quality of life for all who live and work here.”
For more information, please visit the Herefordshire Council website.