Major international firms invest in Enterprise Zone


Two international companies are helping to further cement Harlow’s position as an excellent location for businesses by expanding their operations at the Harlow Enterprise Zone’s Kao Park site. Goldacre Ventures has confirmed two significant office pre-lets totalling 110,652 sq ft to defence and electronics innovators.

Following the recent announcement that Public Health England is to establish its national science hub in the town, the confirmation that two major businesses are to expand their presence in Harlow is further good news for Harlow and for the development of the Enterprise Zone. Technology and innovation business Raytheon and electronics company Arrow have both signed 15-year lease agreements to take space at Kao Park (the London Road South campus of the Enterprise Zone).

Kao Park will be the first element of the Harlow Enterprise Zone to be delivered and, when fully developed, it will represent an investment in the region of £200m in the 35-acre site. The site will be transformed into a new 21st century centre for discovery and will be the only campus within 30 miles of London to combine 200,000 square feet of Grade A office accommodation and a state-of-the-art data centre within a newly landscaped business park. The data centre will be one of the largest campus data centres in the UK when it comes on stream from 2016.

Raytheon is to move from its current location in The Pinnacles and bring its entire UK Research and Development (R&D) department to the Enterprise Zone as part of a £25m long-term investment to create its new UK Technical Centre of Excellence. Having scaled down its presence in Harlow in recent years, with the re-location of manufacturing operations to Scotland, this will represent a significant expansion with jobs in Harlow growing from around 350 to around 500.

Richard Daniel, chief executive, Raytheon UK, said: “This announcement marks a new era for Raytheon in Harlow, where the company has significantly contributed to the economy for more than 50 years. The new facility gives us tremendous potential and will become our main technology centre in the United Kingdom for the design and development of some of the UK’s most advanced defence capabilities.”

Arrow Electronics is a global provider of products, services and solutions to industrial and commercial users of electronic components and enterprise computing solutions. Arrow is already situated on the site but is moving its operations to newer and larger premises, taking about twice its current space. With residents of Harlow comprising more than half the company’s workforce in the town, this is excellent news for local people.

Paul Nelson, vice president global real estate, Arrow Electronics said: “Arrow Electronics has a successful history of operations in Harlow which stretches back more than 40 years. Today Arrow Electronics employs 250 people in Harlow providing innovative services and solutions to electronics customers and suppliers in the UK and across Europe. The move to the new office will provide an excellent working environment for our business and talent to develop and grow.”

Councillor Tony Durcan, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Enterprise, said: “This is fantastic news for the Enterprise Zone, for Harlow as a whole, for Essex and for the whole of the UK in terms of inward investment. The fact that these two major international companies want to expand their UK operations in Harlow shows what a great place Harlow is to do business and the huge potential that is being fulfilled at the EZ.

“The Harlow EZ is quickly taking shape and is a highly attractive proposition to businesses in the advanced manufacturing and engineering, Med Tech, life sciences and ICT (Information and Communications Technology) industries and we hope that many more organisations will follow in the footsteps of Raytheon and Arrow. In addition, the opportunities for new job creation and skills development are really exciting for the local community and something which is a big priority for the Council.”

David Bloom, Chief Executive of the developers, Goldacre Ventures, said “It is our intention to honour the site’s long history of scientific discovery and celebrate its heritage as the home of fibre optic cable by creating a destination that enables the pioneers of the future to make the next wave of discoveries. Kao Park is strategically positioned close to London and along the UK’s burgeoning life science’s belt, which will appeal to businesses of all shapes and sizes looking for a secure and flexible campus destination. Raytheon and Arrow Electronics are both leaders in their respective fields and are not only an important part the local economy in Harlow, but make a sizeable contribution to the national economy. It is a significant endorsement for Kao Park that they have selected it as their base of operations as they seek to expand.”


Work started on the Kao Park site in December 2014 with demolitions, putting in an upgraded power supply, building a new access road and refurbishing existing buildings. The site is the former home of Nortel Telecommunications and is where the technology behind fibre optic cable was developed in 1966. The data centres will offer independent and world-class data capacity for local, national and international companies and organisations of all shapes and sizes with construction of these starting in early 2016. The refurbishment of the building which Arrow Electronics and Raytheon will occupy is now underway and they will take up occupation by the autumn of 2016.

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