The first two phases of Malvern Hills Science Park had been extremely successful. Situated alongside QinetiQ, the former Defence Evaluation and Research Agency, there had been continued pressure for further expansions of the scheme through development of the next three phases indicated on the adopted master plan.
Advantage West Midlands were approached to provide funding for the Phase 3 development and required a consultant to carry out various appraisals and assessments of the project prior to commitment.
Following completion of the Phase 3 building, the Science Park was continually running at high occupancy levels, which restricted the further expansion of companies on site. In 2011, continuing to date, GVA was appointed to advise on the further expansion of the Science Park.
The work required by Advantage West Midlands included a benefits analysis of the establishment of Malvern Hills Science Park, an assessment of its ability to continue to attract more hi-tech occupiers, the market for the proposed accommodation, and the style of laboratories/offices anticipated. This research was augmented by a critical assessment of whether the project justified AWM’s financial input and the state aid issues that its involvement would have. Finally, advice was also provided on the layout, size and configuration of the proposed expansion.
Most recently, GVA’s advice has been to the Science Park Company on strategy and then implementation of an expansion programme, and to project manage growth of the scheme in order to take full advantage of its employment generating capabilities. GVA is currently advising on a prefunded, pre-let new build, land acquisition and land swap opportunities.
How GVA added value
The firm’s experience in the Science Park market, having advised a number of Universities and Science Park operators in similar positions, enabled a detailed assessment of the structure of the project and improvements that could enhance its deliverability.
The Advantage West Midlands market appraisals indicated a requirement for public sector support and in depth analysis of the State Aid regulations provided recommendations to ensure that public procurement procedures and financial involvement were met and justified. In addition, our experience of project managing complex development scenarios, the costs and values attributable to such a scheme enabled viable alternatives (including the development of the remainder of the scheme as a single building phase) to be tested and recommended.
In summary, our input has enabled AWM to justify their involvement and Malvern Hills Science Park to subsequently proceed with a number of their expansion proposals.
Our current involvement is multi-disciplinary with GVA providing Agency/ Development Consultancy, Building, Planning and Economic Development Teams working together to support the expansion through the potential pre-let delivery of a further building on site.