New £17.8m Mersey tech hub could create 332 jobs

Work has started on Project Violet backed by £8.4m from Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and it will see the creation of 42,000 sq ft of hi-tech commercial space. Tony McDonough reports

Sci-Tech Daresbury
Sci-Tech Daresbury’s Project Violet will see a trio of new office buildings totalling 42,000 sq ft


Work has started on a new £17.8m Liverpool city region hub for hi-tech and science businesses that could see the creation of up to 332 jobs.

Project Violet is the next stage of development of Sci-Tech Daresbury, the city region’s world-leading science and innovation campus. It will comprise 42,000 sq ft of speculative grade A office and innovation space aimed at innovative firms.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram is backing the project with a £8.4m cash injection from the Combined Authority’s Urban Development and Chrysalis funds. The funds are putting in £2.5m and £5.9m respectively.

Lead contractor Willmott Dixon has  started work on Project Violet. It will comprise two buildings (V2 and V3) providing 12,000 sq ft each and one building (V1) of 18,000 sq ft. Each building will provide floor plates of around 4,100 to 6,150 sq ft. There will also be major landscaping improvements around the Sci-Tech Daresbury campus.

Halton Council granted planning permission for Project Violet back in February 2018 and now, with funding secured, the scheme can finally go ahead. Work on the buildings is scheduled for completion by the end of 2021.

Project Violet
Groundbreaking ceremony for Project Violet at Sci-Tech Daresbury. Picture by Gareth Jones


Mr Rotheram said: “Our region is very lucky to have Sci-Tech Daresbury, home to some world-leading businesses and research organisations who are doing some incredible work in the fields of science, technology and industries of the future.

“We’ve invested £8.4m to help the site continue to grow and succeed, and to ensure that we’re able to offer the world class facilities to keep attracting new businesses and jobs to the area. This project alone is expected to create hundreds of local jobs.”

Designed by Seven Architecture, the new complex is situated at the gateway of the campus next to Keckwick Lane and Innovation Way. John Downes, chief executive of asset manager Langtree and chairman of Sci-Tech Daresbury, added: “This marks two important milestones for not just Project Violet but also the development of the wider campus.

“These new buildings are a pivotal addition to the site, and will allow us to provide a home for more innovative businesses of all different sizes, from dynamic start-ups to established global firms.

“We’re currently seeing strong demand for workspace from businesses developing products and services that will help the economy forward in years to come, and we’re therefore proud to continue to develop our site to cater to this requirement.”

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