20 June 2019
MEPC has begun the final phase of a six-year project to upgrade the whole of its 100-acre Silverstone Park business estate with gas, water, electricity and foul drainage.
The works, set for completion by December 2019, will mean Silverstone Park’s development land is fully serviced. The land already has planning consent for 2.1m sq ft of commercial development and a significant section of it is within the Enterprise Zone, offering business rates relief for companies.
“This is a massive step forward for Silverstone Park,” commented MEPC’s Roz Bird, Commercial Director at the estate.
“The work is essential in order to unlock the full potential of the land. It means occupiers taking new buildings will be able to ‘plug in’ from day one and get on with running their businesses.”
Roz said that the final phase of the six-year utility upgrade project had taken 12 months to plan.
She added: “We actually placed our orders for gas and electricity as long ago as January 2014 because we knew what was required and how long it would take to achieve serviced land, working with the utility companies.
“The new supply of 21 MVAs of power came to site in 2017; gas arrives for the first time in December 2019.
“We plan for the long-term and so wanted to commit to the service upgrade right at the very start of our involvement. I am very glad we did because we are managing a great deal of interest and hope to be able to announce new phases of development shortly.”
Appointed civil grounds and engineering contractor Forkers has recently started on site with the installation of a utilities trench.
Oliver Bannister, Partner at MEPC-appointed property and construction consultant Ridge & Partners LLP, said: “Utilities often bring risk and uncertainty to projects; however when MEPC purchased Silverstone Park in 2013 it was clear they were going to need higher levels of programme and cost certainty to support their ambitious commercial development.
“Through developing collaborative and bespoke procurement strategies with the utility market MEPC has been able to plan and budget with exceptional accuracy.”
MEPC took over development and management of Silverstone Park in September 2013. Since, 50 occupier businesses on site have grown to almost 80 – many now working on cutting-edge technology projects in areas such as aerospace, automotive, defence, electronics, marine, medical devices, motorsport, telecommunications and software development.
It also sits on the Board of the Silverstone Technology Cluster which is looking at working with neighbouring cluster organisations to advance development of the government’s Cambridge-Oxford growth corridor (or ‘super cluster’).
At the STC’s Annual Conference last month, the government tipped the region to become ‘the UK’s innovation capital’.
And at UK Property Forums’ recent BucksPropFest event, MEPC’s use of Enterprise Zone status was praised by senior planning and commerce figures.