The Harlow Enterprise Zone Board met last week for an update on progress towards creating new jobs and new opportunities in the town as the first new offices on the former Nortel headquarters officially opened.
Last Thursday’s (20 October 2016) Board meeting took place in Raytheon’s impressive new offices at £200m Kao Park – the first completed development on the Enterprise Zone.
Andrew Lee, Raytheon’s Deputy Business Director for Defence, welcomed the Board to the new premises where 380 Harlow based staff have relocated to. It will now become the company’s UK Technical Centre of Excellence and enable the growth of the business in Harlow.
The Board heard a presentation from Public Health England on their plans to bring their Headquarter and National Science Hub campus to Harlow from 2021. Michael Beard, Head of External Community Engagement for PHE, outlined the plans to bring up to 3,200 science jobs to the town.
PHE’s Harlow facilities will create a world class centre of excellence for public health and life sciences. Harlow was identified as the location for this facility because of the presence of a ready-made facility in the former GSK buildings and its location in the heart of the London Stansted Cambridge Corridor with its expanding life sciences sector.
Public Health England will create many new job opportunities for local residents at all levels of the organisation as well opportunities for existing Harlow business to become part of PHE’s supply chain. Discussion took place around the opportunities for PHE and the Harlow Enterprise Zone to work together to enable the location of businesses on the EZ site that would wish to work with PHE in the future.
The Board also heard about progress to create a new multi million pound Science Park at the London Road North site. The construction of the new access road on the site is well advanced and is scheduled for completion in January 2017. Following this, work will commence to bring services to the site. From spring of 2017 Harlow Council’s development partner, Vinci, will commence construction of the first buildings on the Science Park.
Detailed work on the Science Park masterplan for the site is nearing completion and this will feature the provision of café, gym and nursery facilities as well as more than half a million square feet of business space.
As a result of this progress, the Board agreed that more effort now needed to be focussed on promotion and marketing to attract new business occupiers to the town. A sub-group of Board members will now work with the Project Director and the Council’s development partners to promote the Enterprise Zone as a dynamic new business location between London and Cambridge.
John Keddie, Chairman of the Board, said: “Raytheon’s relocation to Kao Park is an exciting time in the development of the Enterprise Zone and it will be the start of a major transformation of the site into a vibrant new business and technology park. The completion of the first phase of development at Kao Park and the commencement of work on the first data centre here shows that Harlow is already an attractive business location, which will grow further through the Science Park which has the potential to create more than 2,000 jobs.