National contractor Wates Construction and property, construction and infrastructure consultancy, Perfect Circle have jointly completed £22m worth of works at the Loughborough University Science Enterprise Park (LUSEP) for Leicestershire County Council (LCC).

Situated off Holywell Way in Loughborough, LUSEP is a new build commercial development providing 80,000 sq. m. of Category A office space spread over three floors. The space will see a revenue of £1.6m a year to support vital front-line county council services.

Built on land owned by Loughborough University, LUSEP forms part of Leicestershire County Council’s ambitions to develop its estate to help provide long-term financial benefits for the region. The site has already found a tenant, with global business software firm, The Access Group, leasing it for its new UK headquarters.

Wates completed all building, mechanical and electrical works, with the design meeting a BREEAM rating of Very Good. Extensive planning and ground design works were also carried out in collaboration with the client and their team to ensure a cost effective solution on the previously sloped site. All were carried out with due consideration of the existing ecology and environmental needs of the site, including the installation of a bat fence.

Perfect Circle delivered consultancy in the early stages of design, as well as project management, quantity surveying, and principle designer services. The consultancy also provided mechanical and engineering, civils and structures support.

Wates and Perfect Circle were both appointed via SCAPE, the UK’s leading public sector procurement authority. The SCAPE Construction and SCAPE Consultancy frameworks are designed to accelerate delivery and facilitate collaboration across the project, whilst driving local economic impact, as well as time and cost savings for LCC.

The Wates team also worked closely with the client and its supply chain to ensure the project delivered considerable benefits for the community, with £56,000 spent with local Social Enterprises, 23 apprenticeships supported and 33 new jobs created for local tradespeople.

Construction started on site at LUSEP in February 2019, with the team handing over in November 2020.

John Carlin, regional managing director for the Midlands at Wates Construction, said:

“While the current economic climate and rise of homeworking has caused some to doubt the future of commercial property, LUSEP’s completion is a positive sign for the wider market, and it remains a focus for our business in the Midlands.

“As with any of our projects procured via SCAPE, we worked in tandem with our client to ensure this site delivered exactly what was needed – a modern, sustainable office building which would benefit the council commercially in the long-term, built via considerate methods which would be sympathetic with the environment and support the community during its construction and beyond. This is reflected in our 9.5/10 client satisfaction score, and is a testament to our teams’ dedication to collaboration and innovative delivery.”

Victoria Brambini, managing director at Perfect Circle, said:

“We’re delighted to see such a successful technology firm taking up their new premises in the county. The engagement of Perfect Circle at the earliest stage of planning and design, right through into project and cost management of the construction and fit-out, allowed the county council and Loughborough University to de-risk the project and deliver better outcomes – as is the aim with all SCAPE projects.”

Nick Rushton, Leader of Leicestershire County Council said:

“This underlines the strength of Leicestershire as a great place to do business as well as the county council’s place at the forefront of the drive for growth and innovation. It also cements Loughborough’s growing global reputation as a business and innovation centre and shows that Leicestershire is truly open for business.

“Our approach of building new workspaces is creating jobs and boosting the economy, which is vital in securing a good recovery from the COVID pandemic, and crucially, it means we can invest more into services such as maintaining our roads and supporting vulnerable people.”

Mark Robinson, group chief executive at SCAPE, said:

“As businesses continue to prepare for a return to office-based working, it’s encouraging to see ambitious construction projects like LUSEP take shape. Commercial property plays an important role in supporting local regeneration and economic growth as the UK continues its path to recovery.

“The high calibre of work delivered is testament to the quality of the teams at Wates and Perfect Circle and will ultimately deliver exceptional value for Leicestershire County Council and the communities it serves. I wish Access Group every success for the future, as it relocates it UK headquarters to the new site.”

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