Grove Business Park’s Transformational 2023

26 January 2024

The Oxford Endowment Fund acquired the existing 260,000 sqft (24,155 sqm) Park last year with an ambition to build upon its undoubted potential and reinforce its status as a strategic employment site in the Vale of White Horse District.
 
A vision for an enlarged and transformed Park has now been developed, which not only considers new space, but also a new identity and proposition as a creative life sciences, technology, innovation and commercial hub at the heart of the Oxfordshire Science Vale.
 
A top-class team of professional consultants has produced a plan to develop 377,000 sqft of new space at Grove Business Park. The detailed proposals now include three new buildings totalling 87,110 sqft of Technology / R&D / Lab-enhanced accommodation and outline plans for a further 290,000 sqft of commercial development.
This isn’t just about more space, because the proposals also encompass the Park environment as a place to work, with proposed improvements to existing buildings and landscaping, together with provision for leisure, recreation and new catering facilities.
 
New signage and wayfinding reflecting the vibrant new brand has already been installed and improvements to landscaping and access have been implemented. A new catering unit at the heart of the Park has planning consent and is planned to be constructed early in the New Year. The new vision and concept is now online and featured in a dynamic new project website: www.grovebusinesspark.co.uk
 
A successful consultation in the summer showed overwhelming support from the public and local groups for the creation of new quality employment opportunities and jobs for the district.
 
This led to a ‘hybrid’ application being submitted in August, which included detailed plans for the three new buildings and an outline submission for the commercial development.
 
Importantly, the proposals also included plans to deliver a sustainable campus environment for the future with a BREAAM ‘Excellent’ development, enhanced bio-diversity, green amenity spaces, pedestrian priorities and improved access and permeability with the adjacent residential development.
Meanwhile, building relationships with existing occupiers and creating a feeling of a business community has also taken a step forward with the highly successful and popular Summer Social event – the first of many planned gatherings.
 
William Lawrie, Head of Property Management at Oxford University Endowment Management Ltd on behalf of the Oxford Endowment Fund, reflected:
“It has been a year of progress and promise. We welcome the support we’ve had from occupiers and the wider area for our vision for the future of the Park.
 
“Wantage is part of the Oxfordshire growth region with a highly skilled workforce. We are really pleased therefore to be providing new investment and contributing a vital resource for the region by creating new job opportunities in the life sciences, innovation and technology industries.
 
“On the management front we’ve acquired the John Lewis of Hungerford unit as well as seen Airbox Systems committing to a new long lease, both showing confidence in the long-term future of the Park.
 
“We look forward to 2024 as a year focused on delivery when the new catering unit will open, coinciding with when planning consent for the expansion is anticipated in the Spring, and a planned start on site in the Summer.”
 
 


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TFD Health & Fitness explore a potential new unit

24 November 2023

The independent family-run business has announced it has begun discussions to explore potential new space in the expanded Park.

Grove Business Park has exciting plans to expand and has submitted proposals to the Vale of White Horse District Council to develop 377,000 sqft (c35,000 sqm) of new space to create a life sciences, technology and innovation hub as part of the growing Oxfordshire Science Vale. This is likely to increase the number of people employed on site from to around 600 to potentially almost 2,000.

TFD Health & Fitness, which is celebrating its 20th birthday next February as a key occupier, is an important amenity at Grove Business Park and is keen to be part of this exciting new development.

Since opening in 2004 the successful Health & Fitness Club has developed massively and added a second floor to expand its facilities to now provide not only a full gym, but over 70 classes a week in dedicated fitness and spin studios. There is also a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, an on-site hair salon, a beautician and a sports massage and physiotherapist to serve the widening and growing membership.

The Oxford Endowment Fund acquired the existing 260,000 sqft (24,155 sqm) Business Park last year with an ambition to build upon its undoubted potential and reinforce its status as a key strategic employment site in the Vale of White Horse.

William Lawrie, Head of Property Management at Oxford University Endowment Management Ltd commented:

“As we invest and create new job opportunities at the Park we are keen to support the existing businesses and having a successful health and fitness facility is a terrific amenity for all the employees on site and the wider community. As the Park expands this will provide opportunities for businesses and we are pleased to be talking to TFD about its aspirations.”

Lisa Auchinvole, Owner and Manager of TFD Health & Fitness said:

“This is an exciting time at Grove Business Park. We are keen to explore the potential on how we could improve our facilities further within the new proposals and deliver a health and fitness service for the expanded Park and also for the increasing residential community on our doorstep.

“It is vitally important to us that we maintain our social, friendly and welcoming feel for members and guests and always deliver high standards of customer service with the compassion and fun that sets us aside from others.

“So come and talk to us about your fitness requirements as we look forward to an even healthier and fitter future in the new sustainable business campus environment at Grove Business Park.”

For more information visit: tfdgym.co.uk

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Launch of new brand and online platform

27 September 2023

Grove Business Park has launched its new brand and online platform and confirmed Savills as agents for the major expansion.

To mark the transformational plan to develop 377,000 sq ft (c35,000 sq m) of new space to create a life sciences and technology/innovation hub, a new branding, website, and on-site signage have been unveiled.

Recognising this transition and the exciting opportunities it brings, Savills has also been confirmed as the leasing agents for the new development, plans for which were launched in June and which have now been submitted to the Vale of White Horse District Council for approval. The plans will bring more jobs with the number of people employed on site increasing from around 1,000 to potentially almost 2,500.

The launch also includes the release of CGIs and illustrations of the new buildings, which feature on the website and show the scale and quality of the plans.

The branding and new website reflect the new proposals at the heart of the Oxfordshire Science Vale growth and the exciting new businesses and technologies that are being attracted to the region.

Upgrading site signage and improving the access, food offer and environment of the existing Park is also signposting the change and putting down an important marker for current and future businesses on the Park.

William Lawrie, Head of Property Management at Oxford University Endowment Management Ltd on behalf of the Oxford Endowment Fund who acquired the Park in 2021, commented:

“Our plan to expand and transform the quality and scale of the park, together with the new investment and job opportunities created in the life sciences, innovation and technology sectors is a really important step for us and the region.

“The new brand and signage are already a step change and the website brings it all to life, providing the vision for the new buildings we plan. So it’s great to have Savills on board to help drive the project forward.”

Charles Rowton-Lee, Head of Commercial Agency at Savills Oxford, commented:

“Having already been involved in the design and planning phase for the proposals, as well as asset management of the Park, we are looking forward to promoting the Grove Business Park story and the opportunities it brings to a wider business audience. It is already a strong and established site, but the vision for the expansion takes it to an exciting new level.”


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Planning application submitted

27 July 2023

Planning application submitted to expand and transform Grove Business Park

Plans have been submitted to the Vale of White Horse District Council to develop a further 377,000 sq ft (c35,000 sq m) of space at Grove Business Park to create a life sciences, technology and innovation hub at the heart of the Oxfordshire Science Vale.
The Oxford Endowment Fund acquired the existing 260,000 sq ft (24,155 sq m) Park last year with an ambition to build upon its undoubted potential and reinforce its status as an allocated strategic employment site in the Borough.

Following a successful consultation that showed strong support for the creation of new quality employment opportunities for the district, a ‘hybrid’ application has been submitted.  It includes detailed plans for three new buildings totalling 87,110 sq ft (c8,090 sq m) of Technology / R&D / Lab enhanced accommodation and an outline application for further 290,000 sq ft (c26,925 sq m) of commercial development. It also proposes improving the existing buildings and landscaping, together with providing leisure, recreation and catering facilities.

William Lawrie, Head of Property Management at Oxford University Endowment Management Ltd on behalf of the Oxford Endowment Fund, commented:

“The proposed increased in quality and scale of the park, together with the new investment and job opportunities created in the life sciences, innovation and technology sectors is a really important resource for the region.

“The proposals include plans to deliver a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ development with enhanced bio-diversity, green amenity spaces, pedestrian priorities and improved access and permeability with the adjacent residential development, which will create a sustainable campus environment for the future.”

The majority of the proposed new development site has been previously developed, firstly as a part of a World War II airfield and subsequently for research and development uses.


THE OXFORD ENDOWMENT FUND

The Oxford Endowment Fund is managed by Oxford University Endowment Management on behalf of a range of investors including the University of Oxford and many of its colleges. Further information can be found:  www.ouem.co.uk


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Summer social brings everyone together

24 July 2023

Summer Social brings everyone together on the green

Over 250 people employed around the Park joined in on the Summer Social on 20 July. 

They enjoyed local fare from on-site caterer Valentine Foods, Uggy’s Pizzas, Surf ‘n Fries, Miss Wippy’s Ice Cream and beverages from Camper Coffee whilst enjoying music from Wantage’s very own Silver band and Grove DJ – Musik Machine. 

Meanhwhile lots of people were up for TFD’s rowing challenge bringing out the competitive spirit, hopefully before eating. 

It was a great afternoon and everyone really enjoyed it. 

Park owner Oxford Endowment Fund was delighted with the numbers and feedback: “We’re trying to build something special here at Grove Business Park with a real community for existing staff on site and an exciting proposition with new space to attract more quality businesses and jobs. We plan to have more get-togethers as the project unfolds.” 

Expansion plans welcomed

14 June 2023

Expansions plans are welcomed at Exhibition and Open Day

A series of presentations and a public open day on June 7th and 8th to exhibit the plans to expand Grove Business Park had a great response. 

More than 20 businesses from the Park, 21 local district and parish councillors and over 60 representatives of local organisations and members of the public attended the events. 

A spokesman for the Oxford Endowment Fund:  

“Feedback across all sessions was very positive with the planned increased in scale and quality of the park, together with the new investment and quality of jobs created in the life sciences, innovation and technology sectors welcomed by all.” 

“The proposals for improving access and permeability with the adjacent residential development were particularly strongly supported.  

“There was feedback across a range of issues which are being assessed and which will be encompassed within the planning application.” 

The plans on show included improving the existing buildings, landscaping, amenities and infrastructure of the park, as well as some 32,773 sq m of proposed new development. 

The new development would provide modern floorspace comprising of offices and research and development areas for Life Sciences, Technology and Innovation businesses. 



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Plans go on show

26 May 2023

Plans to expand and transform Grove Business Park to go on show at Boston House  

The Oxford Endowment Fund, which recently acquired Grove Business Park with an ambition to build upon the Park’s undoubted potential and reinforce its status as an allocated strategic employment site in the Vale of White Horse Borough, announced consultation events to take place on 7th and 8th June at Boston House at the Park. 

The plans include improving the existing buildings, landscaping, amenities and infrastructure of the Park, as well as some 376,900 sq ft, 35,015 sm of proposed new development, which is largely commercial floorspace comprising life sciences/offices, research and development, light industrial and leisure uses, to provide high quality jobs for local people and create a sustainable campus environment for the future. 

The development and design project team will share and consult with people about the proposals to redevelop the ‘brownfield site’* at the north of the existing Park, along with a prominent site at the entrance to the Park, which were previously granted planning consent in 2016, but has recently expired. The site was originally part of a wider World War II airfield. 


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