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:
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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