Students Staff

31 March 2014

Parkside Office Village leads the way on growth in the South East

Parkside show unit

Parkside Office Village show unit

Parkside Office Village at the University of Essex's Colchester Campus is the first project backed by the Growing Places Fund to come on stream as part of the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SE LEP) strategy to foster economic growth and job creation in Essex, Kent and East Sussex.

The full development will be completed by the end of May and open days are being held on Friday 11 April and Wednesday 30 April in the advance show unit.

The project was the first in Essex to begin on site supported by the Growing Places Fund overseen by SE LEP − a Government fund designed to boost the UK economy.

SE LEP is the business-led body responsible for co-ordinating economic growth across East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock. The new Parkside offices are a key part of its efforts to stimulate growth and create jobs in the area.

Parkside offers the potential to create more than 120 new jobs through the establishment of a new home for dynamic, knowledge based businesses as part of the first phase of the University’s planned 42-acre business research and development park known as the Knowledge Gateway. When complete the Knowledge Gateway could provide up to 2,000 new high value jobs.

Bryn Morris, Registrar at the University of Essex, said: "The opening of the show unit at Parkside represents a major milestone for the University. This is the first space on the Knowledge Gateway available to let and is further evidence of our drive to create stronger connections with business as an integral part of our excellence strategy.

“With the forthcoming opening of our new building to house Essex Business School and easy access to our other campus facilities and to the talent and energy of our students and academic staff, we believe businesses choosing to locate themselves at Parkside, and becoming part of our community, will see major competitive advantages.”

George Kieffer, SE LEP Vice Chairman, said: "I attended the turf cutting for Parkside last September and congratulate the University on the speed with which this development has reached completion. I am delighted to see the University of Essex now opening the show unit and taking forward the challenge of driving economic growth.

“This is a central plank of our growth strategy - universities have a key part to play in helping businesses to innovate and increase productivity and I hope that businesses will take full advantage of all of the opportunities available here."

Councillor Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Infrastructure, said: “With the UK's economic outlook brightening it is vital we support innovative businesses to create the jobs to ensure Essex thrives in the coming years. Supporting projects like Parkside is central to our strategy to nurture an economically vibrant and highly entrepreneurial county.

“The University has ambitious plans for the Knowledge Gateway and this complements our strategy to bring new investment into Essex and support existing businesses to grow."

Councillor Anne Turrell, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “The Parkside Development project will provide the University with a platform to launch new businesses in Colchester; boosting the local economy. From this space, the University will be able to offer opportunities for innovative businesses to grow and develop, enabling them to make the connections in business and research that they need to help them thrive."

The Parkside Office Village scheme is one of up to 20 schemes SE LEP is supporting with around £49 million funding from the Growing Places Fund. In total the schemes have the potential to create more than 20,900 jobs directly and indirectly, and the potential for unlocking around 25,000 new homes. The University is now working with the SE LEP on bringing forward the next phase of projects on the Knowledge Gateway.

For more information about the units and the open days contact the Agents Whybrows on 01206 577667 or email: mailto: and

For more information about the Knowledge Gateway contact Steve Clarke on 07946 377459, email: or visit the Knowledge Gateway website.

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