Construction is nearing completion on a new showpiece building for Hull’s thriving tech community.
The three-storey sister building for the Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) offers space for tech businesses to grow and traditional companies to innovate through technology.
The £3.75m building has been developed by regeneration company Wykeland Group and is the latest major investment at Wykeland’s @TheDock tech campus in the Fruit Market creative quarter.
David Donkin, Property Director of Hull-based Wykeland, said: “This new tech hub sends out a very strong signal of confidence in the city’s economy and post-Covid recovery.
“It will provide a platform for innovative digital businesses to start up, scale up and collaborate with established companies to seize the many growth opportunities technology offers.
“During the pandemic digital technology has been a key enabler of business continuity. Now, following the disruption caused by Covid-19, the tech sector will be to the fore in driving the region’s economic revival.”
The project has been supported with almost £1.3m from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, secured by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and part of the Government’s commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.
The new building will create around 160 new highly-skilled and highly-paid tech jobs.
Wykeland Asset Manager John Gouldthorp added: “This new building will provide the capacity, facilities, shared spaces and world-class connectivity that will enable the tech community to continue to flourish and support digital transformation and growth.
“We’re in discussions with potential occupiers and look forward to welcoming new businesses to the collaborative C4DI community.”
The new 20,000 sq ft building has ground-floor parking for 25 cars, including two electric car ports, and a secure cycle unit, with two floors of offices above. Office suites are available from 200 sq ft to 17,500 sq ft.
The building’s striking design, featuring glazed brickwork, light bronze cladding and glazed stairwells, enhances further the quality of office buildings in the city, and it also has strong environmental credentials, with a BREEAM sustainability rating of very good.
Wykeland has worked closely with Hull-based principal contractor Hobson & Porter to ensure construction has continued with minimal disruption, following the introduction of Covid-secure working arrangements.
The new building is the latest phase of the @TheDock tech cluster, developed by Wykeland on a waterfront site which was derelict just a few years ago. @TheDock has the original C4DI building as its centrepiece and offers the newest Grade A office environment in Hull.
The development has generated hundreds of highly-skilled jobs and has been a vital element in the transformation of the Fruit Market area into a vibrant urban village and magnet for investment.
John Connolly, Managing Director of C4DI, said: “The tech sector is vital to enabling the growth of traditional businesses and helping ensure their resilience.
“The digital community in Hull has continued to grow during and since lockdown, with a number of businesses taking further investment rounds, many more continuing to hire and all of them recognising there is a world of opportunity in a time of uncertainty, which is when tech entrepreneurs work best.
“The new building provides space for this growing sector and also a vital collaboration space where traditional companies can come together to learn about the technology, tools and processes that will help their businesses to grow.”
Stephen Parnaby OBE, Chair of the Humber LEP, said: “We are delighted work is nearing completion on C4DI’s new technology hub. We are very pleased to support this development with a £1.3m allocation from the Local Growth Fund. The new hub will enable more digital and technology start-up firms to begin operating in the Humber, while offering even more space for established SMEs to expand and grow.
“The digital and technology sector is a hugely important part of the business landscape both in Hull and across the wider Humber region, which will continue to drive the region’s growth as we recover from the economic impact of Covid-19.”
Regional Growth and Local Government Minister, Luke Hall MP, said: “I am pleased that we have been able to support the expansion of C4DI through a £1.3m Local Growth Fund investment.
“This development is an important addition to the Fruit Market – which has seen the area transformed into a creative hub in recent years and a place local people can be proud of.
“With the creation of up to 160 new highly-skilled jobs, this will help to boost the local area and attract even more inward investment.”
Major investment is continuing in the Fruit Market, with the latest major phase of development also well advanced. It features a £13m showpiece head office for Arco, the UK’s leading safety business, which is due to be completed next year, and a 350-space multi-storey car park, expected to open by the end of this year.
The success of Hull’s tech sector has played a key role in the landmark Arco development as the company decided to relocate its headquarters and 550 staff to the Fruit Market after basing its digital transformation team within @TheDock.
The £80m rejuvenation of the Fruit Market is being driven forward by the Wykeland Beal joint venture formed by Wykeland and Beal Homes, working in partnership with Hull City Council.
The success of the Fruit Market regeneration was recognised recently with a prestigious Game Changer Award for Wykeland Beal at the Yorkshire Property Awards.